David Moyes slap: Full transcript of Sunderland manager's apology for threat to female journalist

The 53-year-old found himself at the centre of a sexism row on Monday

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The Independent Football

Sunderland boss David Moyes "profoundly regrets" suggesting he might slap a female reporter after taking offence at one of her questions.

The 53-year-old found himself at the centre of a sexism row on Monday after an exchange with BBC Newcastle and Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks was published by a national newspaper.

At his scheduled pre-match press conference ahead of the Black Cats' Premier League trip to Leicester, Moyes apologised for his comments following calls for his head from some disgruntled supporters.

The full transcript of Moyes' press conference can be found below.

Is there anything you'd like to say about the incident with the BBC reporter?

Moyes: In the heat of the moment, I made a mistake in my comment to a BBC reporter which I profoundly regret. I was disappointed with myself for it. I subsequently phoned the reporter and apologised, which she accepted. It’s not my character, it’s not my type, as most people know. Once again, I apologised for it.

I think people who know me would say what I’m about. In the heat of the moment, I used the wrong words.

Why did you say what you did to the reporter?

Moyes: It was the heat of the moment. The business we’re in, sometimes you only have seconds to think and answer. So, you know, it was the wrong thing to do.

That particular language, threatening to slap someone, how regrettable was that?

Moyes: I have said that I regret it. I have spoken to the girl, who I apologised to, and she accepted it.


The Shadow Sports Minister has called for you to resign. Did you ever consider that?

Moyes: No, never a consideration.

So you think you can survive this?

Moyes: Yes. I don’t see it as being something which is in my character. It is something which is out of character. As I said, I’ve apologised to the girl.

Are you indebted to Vicki for accepting the apology?

Moyes: Yeah, yeah. She was fine, she accepted it. I phoned her on the Monday morning.

Have you had to speak to anyone at the club about it?

Moyes: Like?

Chief executive or owner?

Moyes: I spoke to Martin immediately after it happened. I spoke to Ellis about it on the Monday morning as well. They were aware of it two weeks ago.

Do you think it will cost you your job?

Moyes: No.

Gary Lineker has tweeted that it has highlighted the tendency for managers to treat interviewers with utter disdain. Do you agree with that?

Moyes: No, I don’t agree. In the heat of the moment, sometimes the questions come in and you can answer them wrongly. You don’t always say the right things.

So it was the line of questioning rather than it being a woman asking it?

Press officer: It’s fairly obvious that David has been very gracious and has answered all of the questions. It’s not in his character, it’s nothing to do with the fact it’s a female reporter."

Well let him answer it.

Moyes: I will always try to answer the questions.

It is a big issue that there are groups trying to get more women involved in the professional game, do you think that kind of comment is a deterrent?

I think if you look at my history, I have actually been one of the biggest ones campaigning for women’s football. 

David Moyes

Moyes: I think if you look at my history, I have actually been one of the biggest ones campaigning for women’s football. I tried to make sure we had Everton Ladies. At Manchester United, I was very keen on them having one.

My daughter played for Preston until she was 19. I actually think to ask about ladies football and myself, you’re asking the wrong person.

As for women in football, you’re supportive?

Moyes: Totally.

But there is going to be anger about this?

Moyes: Yeah, that’s right, there will be. As I said, I deeply regret and I’ve done what I had to do and apologised, which I was right to do so.

Will this distract from the football?

Moyes: No, because as I’ve said, it was two or three weeks ago. For some reason, it’s been brought up now.

Do you still want to carry on?

Moyes: Yes, I want to do the job and I want to get it right. There's been a lot of difficulties, but I want to be here. This club has not been winning often enough for a long time now. It's been a difficult season for lots of reasons, but I believe there are better times to come.

There are previous examples of Ron Atkinson and Malky Mackay, is there a concern this could escalate to that level in the next 48 hours?

Moyes: No. I think you all know my character, you know who I am. Anybody you want to ask to speak for me, they will tell you different.

What have your family said about it?

Moyes: I’ve been with my wife last night and this morning, she’s been up, we had breakfast this morning. So, all good. My daughter as well.

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