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Stoppage Time: How much more can Newcastle take from Pardew?

(SportsNetwork.com) - The touchline is usually a fairly safe place to be during a soccer match.

Sure, there might be a ball to dodge every now and then, and maybe a player or two might come crashing your way in an attempt to save a ball on its way out of bounds.

Fans may lob a few profane comments in your direction, but for the most part, it is a place where a coach, player or referee should feel relatively safe.

Yet that is not the case when you are sharing a touchline with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

You might be on the other end of a profanity-laced tirade from Pardew like Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was earlier this season.

If you are a linesman, maybe Pardew will shove you if he doesn't like a decision you made that went against his team, which is what happened last season to Peter Kirkup in Newcastle's match with Tottenham when Kirkup failed to award a throw-in to Newcastle that nearly led to a Tottenham goal.

Even opposing players are fair game for Pardew, which we discovered this month in a 4-1 Newcastle victory over Hull City.

With the Magpies holding a 3-1 lead in the second half against Hull, Tigers midfielder David Meyler bumped Pardew as he attempted to retrieve the ball for a throw-in.

The Newcastle boss then proceeded to confront Meyler and deliver a headbutt to the surprised Hull player, with referee Kevin Friend sending Pardew to the stands for the remainder of the game.

Pardew apologized for the incident after the match, but he also seemed to be attempting to minimize his actions at the same time, downplaying the event as though it was something that tends to happen in the heat of the moment.

The club reacted quickly to the incident and imposed a $100,000 fine on Pardew, while issuing a statement that talked about how disappointed it was in its manager.

Yet at the end of that statement, Newcastle stated that it would be making no further comments, essentially brushing the situation under the rug and waiting for the league to hand down a suspension.

That ruling came on Tuesday as the English Football Association hit Pardew with a seven-match touchline ban, while the manager will be prevented from entering the stadium for the first three games.

The league did its job in punishing Pardew, but maybe Newcastle needs to take a closer look at its manager and decide how much more it can take.

Pardew's actions against Hull took the gloss off a very good team performance that saw the Magpies climb into eighth place in the Premier League.

Yet the on-field effort was lost amid apologies, fines and speculation about Pardew's potential punishment.

And you have to think the club would be interested in making headlines for other reasons besides its out-of-control manager.

The 52-year-old is more than capable of managing a team from a pure tactical standpoint as he guided West Ham to the 2006 FA Cup final and helped both Reading and West Ham earn promotion to the Premier League.

But the negative publicity he attracts definitely takes away from any positive results his team achieves on the field.

Newcastle fans certainly aren't thrilled with the behavior of their manager, and some have called for him to lose his job.

"In my personal opinion, he should have been sacked for the offense," Kevin Moore, who is the founder of "United for Newcastle" supporter group, told English news agency Perform. "I don't want to see anyone representing my football club do something like that, especially the manager of a football club, so I would have liked to see him sacked to be honest."

One of the reasons why Newcastle might be reluctant to sack Pardew is the fact that he has six years remaining on his current contract, which pays him a little over $2 million a season.

The deal doesn't include a maximum severance agreement, so if Pardew received a pink slip this season, the club would still owe him over $12 million for the remainder of his contract.

That is obviously enough of a deterrent to prevent Newcastle from taking further action.

However, the next time Pardew decides to lose his mind in a moment of madness along the touchline, the drumbeat will only grow louder for his dismissal and the club will once again have to ask itself: "How much more can we take?"