David Moyes faces fresh controversy after being accused of aiming multiple 'off-camera remarks' at female reporters

Following footage which showed Moyes appearing to threaten a BBC reporter, ESPN’s Alison Bender suggested that the manager has directed inappropriate comments at female reporters before

Samuel Lovett
Monday 03 April 2017 16:09
Moyes faces mounting pressure for alleged 'off-camera remarks' made against female reporters
Moyes faces mounting pressure for alleged 'off-camera remarks' made against female reporters

David Moyes faces fresh controversy after the Sunderland manager was accused by a female TV presenter of making multiple “off-camera remarks” aimed at women reporters.

The 53-year-old was forced on Monday to apologise to the BBC’s Vicki Sparks after footage from a camera phone appeared to show the former Everton boss threatening to “slap” her after a press interview.

Despite Sunderland’s insistence that the matter had been resolved, new allegations have now come to light.

ESPN’s Alison Bender, a football host and presenter, suggested on Monday afternoon that Moyes has directed inappropriate comments at female reporters before.

“These are not the first off camera remarks I’ve heard from him aimed at a woman so it makes my opinion a little different,” she tweeted.

Bender did, however, express her apprehensions over the on-going Moyes controversy.

“This Moyes things is such a tricky one to comment on. I think we need to take a certain amount in jest/heat of moment.”

She concluded: “Having said that I really do detest the whole women in football treated differently debate. Not enough letters in a tweet!”

Sparks, a reporter for BBC Newcastle, was interviewing Moyes after Sunderland’s 0-0 home draw with Burnley, on March 18.

The manager appeared to take exception to Sparks’ final question, as she asked whether the presence of club chairman Ellis Short in the stands made him feel under additional pressure.

The Sunderland boss gave a non-committal answer in front of the cameras, before ending the interview. He can then be heard telling Sparks off-camera: “It was getting a wee bit naughty at the end there so just watch yourself.

“You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman. Careful the next time you come in.”

Although it is understood that Sparks herself did not complain to the club, her BBC colleagues were displeased when they heard the audio and subsequently accused the 53-year-old of bullying.

The BBC confirmed that Moyes had since apologised to Sparks for his choice of language.

“Mr Moyes has apologised to our reporter and she has accepted his apology,” a BBC spokesperson said.

A Sunderland spokesperson meanwhile told the Daily Star: “David and the reporter spoke to one another subsequently and the matter was resolved amicably.”

The Football Association has since confirmed that it is "seeking observations" from Sunderland regarding Moyes' comments.

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