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.