Thursday, July 18, 2024

Report: Academy coach fined and banned for referee tirade

The Times (£) report that an Arsenal Academy coach has been fined and banned after an FA investigation into an incident found him guilty of improper conduct.

He was alleged to have called the official a ‘little prick’ following a match, and although initially cleared of using ‘abusive language’ after the game, was punished following a second review.

Here’s the kicker: the match was an Under 9s game between Arsenal and Reading, and the official was a teenage girl.

Alex Nichols is said to have shouted and screamed, questioning decisions during the game, and when the ‘female minor’ referee refused to shake his hand at the end, he said ‘How classy, little prick’.

The coach’s behaviour reduced the young girl to tears and was described as ‘abhorrent’ by the disciplinary panel. He has been banned for three games and fined £400.

Arsenal released a statement, saying, “At Arsenal we do not accept or tolerate behaviour of this nature. We took appropriate action, suspending the coach immediately the allegation was brought to our attention.

“This was the first allegation of this nature in his long coaching career and he has been warned about his future conduct.”

Nichols remains part of the coaching staff at Hale End, but seemingly removed from his position of head coach of the U9s.

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Oops. Didn’t see the under 9’s bit. Thought it was that prem game when it all got a bit testy. Apologies.

Bill Door

How can any vote down your comment Arseblog. ?‍♂️


Sky reports on this, are that Reading officials – the opposition – did hear him use those words to the Ref – despite his denial, which makes him a liar as well as a lout.

He should be sacked for gross misconduct. Or at the very least write an abject letter of apology to all concerned, with the clear understanding that any repeat and he’s out.

Jb can't write

We have the technology to prevent this kind of thing! I reckon it’s about time we introduced VAR at the underage levels

Damo Dinkum

Hopefully it truly is a once off for him because that kind of behaviour with kids is disgusting.

Heavenly Chapecoense

The teenage girl refused to shake hands with him. Why is this detail overlooked ? If she was my daughter, I would have told her to always be polite then go and see the person to express her disagreement. We are not in a teddy-bear world. Are we? So why do people pretend?

Goner McGoonFace

That’s called Blaming the Victim…and you don’t do that – ever.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Well, she is a victim of what ?

Heavenly Chapecoense

I agree but my point was that teenagers are grown enough to learn things can get rough at times. I witnessed a similar situation recently. The swimming class teacher was a teenage girl. She failed a six-year-old boy for the same level the fourth time. The kid’s mom was unhappy without being personal. The teenage teacher started crying. Should teenagers be put in positions where they receive disagreements ? My answer is perhaps no. Those eager to empower them should think about the drawbacks as well.

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

I’m 99% sure this is just keyboard warriorism talking. I have a sneaking suspicion you wouldn’t either share this or act like this outside of the internet.

Just another example of people saying things on the net they wouldn’t say in real life, me think.


As a parent I’m going to be a tad presumptuous and speak for everyone on here when I say:

I think that if you spoke to any of our children that way, you’d soon learn it isn’t “a teddy bear world”.

Big man leaving a a young girl in tears./s


It’s not overlooked. It literally says it in the article. If it was my daughter I’d be focussing my attention on the grown man acting like a massive prick.

Yankee Gooner

I’d rather the teenage girl learn to tell an abusive male of any age to fuck off into the sun than to shake his hand because of someone’s idea of propriety.

Josh R

Hope you don’t have a daughter because she’ll be disadvantaged by your absolutely rubbish, wrongheaded parenting.

Floppy Gloves

When Wenger refused to shake Mourinho’s hand, we all cheered. Scum bags don’t deserve respect. It only encourages them.


What a douche!

Floppy Gloves

Sounds like half of the American parents on the sidelines of their children’s games. Ridiculous.


Get rid. There’s no place for that example of behavior at that age group.


Or at bare minimum get that man some counseling and make him formally apologize and take it seriously.

As my own comment above shows outbursts happen and we all need to work on maintaining perspective.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I disagree.

Kwame Ampadu Down

This site is all about opinions……and it’s very rare that it so obvious that one opinion on here is just plain wrong.


Did we at least win the match?

Heavenly Chapecoense

American female national team beat Thailand 13-0. They celebrated all their goals. People jumped on their phones to express how mad they were to see them celebrate. Should they apologize for being much much better than the other team? I know this is not the same situation but why all these phony values ?

Post January Blip

I like turtles.


Phony values? A grown man called a teenage girl a prick. In an U9 game.

Josh R

Not the brightest, are we.

Keeping it Monreal

Some of the reaction to this defending the coach is making me lose a little faith in humanity. IT WAS AN UNDER 9 GAME AND A TEENAGE REFEREE.
Please excuse the capitals.

Faisal Narrage AKA Mr Project Youth 2.0

Internet. You know how this works.

I like the whole “teenagers should know this is how life works”, yet I bet wouldn’t share such a view publicly or act like the coach, because he knows real life means he’s like to get a thrashing from an angry dad.


I think it’s pretty clear who was (or has) the little prick in this story.


And this prat is associated to our club? I was a manager for both my boys teams not so long ago where the big emphasis was on the Respect campaign which was mostly aimed at parents, nearly all other managers I met were good decent people obviously wanting their team to win but also in the right way, there was also one or two nutters who thought they were alex ferguson. My older son like 2 of his mates became refs at 14 years of age, 2 gave it up half way through the 1st season because they said it… Read more »


how is he a coach for 9yo?


Working with kids with such a behavior? His position should be reevaluated. No tolerance of such an act. Ever!

Bill Door

No justification in behaving like this. The kids will pick up on this and think it’s the norm. He should be made to apologise to the referee in front of her family. She’s a kid. It’s tough enough being a referee, but when you have the opportunity to referee Arsenal, at any level, it’s clearly exciting. But the coach has tarnished that and hopefully the referee will continue and develop into an excellent official.


Bullying a teenage referee at an U9s match? Utterly disgraceful behaviour and not what we should expect or allow from Arsenal staff.

I’m not advocating sacking this guy but neither would I have had much sympathy if the club had done so.


If as reported this guy has bullied a teenage Ref, he should apologise not just to the ref, but do so in front of his team of 9 year olds (and maybe whoever they play next). Its not just him being a prick, being fined, saying sorry behind closed doors. Its the effect it has on the kids, what they see as acceptable. Its about the Arsenal as a club and the values we’re meant to espouse. He should apologise in public, show as well as say that his behaviour was unacceptable and do so even if he is sacked.… Read more »


Should’ve been sacked. No question. If he had called my daughter a “little prick” I’d have given him the slap he deserves.

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