Arsenal academy coach banned and fined for calling female teenage referee a ‘little p***k’


An Arsenal academy coach has been banned and fined by the FA for calling a female teenage referee a ‘little p***k’.

The young official was reduced to tears after Alex Nichols, who was the head coach of Arsenal’s Under 9s team at the time of the incident, screamed and shouted at the girl, who was taking charge of a match against Reading earlier this year.

In an FA report, Nichols’ behaviour was described as ‘abhorrent’. He has since been banned for three games, fined £400 and moved to a general coaching role in the Gunners’ academy. 

After the match in question, the girl, who the FA described as a ‘child referee’ and ‘a female minor’, refused to shake Nichols’ hand.

Nichols (right) was only found guilty of one charge of improper conduct and cleared of using abusive words following an initial hearing. 

The FA, however, appealed against the decision and a second hearing found him guilty of both offences. 

An Arsenal spokesman said: ‘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.’

Meanwhile, Sportsmail understands manager Unai Emery held appraisals with every member of his senior squad at the end of the season.

The Arsenal manager called all his players back to their London Colney base following the Europa League loss to Chelsea in order to hold individual meetings, which last around 20 minutes, with his team.

The conversations are said to have been constructive.

Borussia Dortmund are monitoring developments with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny, 33, who could be allowed to leave this summer.


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