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Pearson's Leicester controversies

Published 01/07/2015

Nigel Pearson was involved in a number of controversies during his Leicester reign
Nigel Pearson was involved in a number of controversies during his Leicester reign

Nigel Pearson has been sacked as manager of Leicester with the club saying "fundamental differences in perspective exist between us".

The 51-year-old guided the Foxes to safety with seven wins from the last nine games in the Barclays Premier League but was often a controversial figure, having arguments with supporters and journalists alike throughout the course of the season.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at Pearson's biggest controversies of the 2014/15 campaign.

Verbal confrontation with a fan

Pearson was fined £10,000 and handed a one-match touchline ban after after arguing with a fan during the club's loss to Liverpool in December.

The Football Association found Pearson guilty of using ''abusive and/or insulting words towards a spectator''. He refused to apologise despite calls from the Leicester City Supporters' Club to say sorry.

He said after the incident: ''I've had run-ins with fans in the past and in the heat of the moment these things happen.

''I'm not going to repeat what happened on either side. I'm very keen to protect myself and my players. I'm more than happy to stand up for myself in that situation.

''If people were offended then that is regrettable. But there is no need to apologise to somebody of that ilk.''

Altercation with James McArthur

Pearson was involved in a bizarre altercation with former transfer target James McArthur during his side's 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace in February.

Pearson was initially bowled over on the touchline by McArthur after a tackle by Marc Albrighton, resulting in what was initially a friendly exchange between the Foxes boss and Palace midfielder.

Pearson even playfully grabbed McArthur around the throat before helping him to his feet, only to then prevent him from returning to the pitch by grabbing hold of his shirt.

Asked why he refused to let go of McArthur, Pearson replied: ''Because he said something to me.''

Asked to elaborate, Pearson added: ''I don't have to reveal anything do I? I'm more than capable of looking after myself."

Angered by Match of the Day comments

Pearson hit out at Match of the Day pundits for making a ''mountain out of a molehill'' following his clash with McArthur.

Pearson thought the way it was covered by Gary Lineker, Danny Murphy and Jermaine Jenas was unfair.

He said: ''It's not helpful when the three fountains of knowledge on Match of the Day make a mountain out molehill, there's nothing in that on Saturday. The lad's okay and it was very light hearted.

''How it was reported was totally inaccurate. Our owners are fine, as they were with the incident with the fan. You're looking for news which is not there.''

Lineker responded by tweeting: ''Ah Nigel Pearson is blaming MOTD for making a mountain out of a molehill. We'd best be careful in future, the fella can look after himself.''

Argument with journalist

Following Leicester's 0-0 draw with Hull, Pearson was riled when a reporter asked him whether his team were "waxing" or "waning" in the relegation run-in.

"I don't have to use that sort of analogy," he responded.

"We are in the same position. We've got ten games left, six games at home, and our home form has to be drastically improved for us to give ourselves the best chance. That's it.

"You got any more questions you want to ask? Obviously not."

Pearson can then clearly be heard saying: "'Waxing or waning?', f****** hell. My a***," before getting up and appearing to utter the word: "P****."

'Ostrichgate'

Pearson launched into a bizarre rant against another journalist - calling him an ostrich - after Leicester's 3-1 defeat to Chelsea.

The Foxes chief took exception to being asked what criticism of his players had upset him over the season after hinting he thought they had been unfairly treated.

Pearson said: "Have you been on holiday for six months? Have you been away for six months?

"I think you must have been either 'head in the clouds' or away on holiday or reporting on a different team because if you don't know the answer to that question your question is absolutely unbelievable, the fact you do not understand where I am coming from.

"If you don't know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich. Your head must be in the sand. Is your head in the sand? Are you flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no."

Pearson was forced to deny accusations that he was a bully and apologised for the incident.

Son sacked

Pearson's son James was sacked alongside fellow Foxes players Tom Hopper and Adam Smith for their part in a sexually-explicit video during which racist language was used.

James Pearson and his two team-mates appeared together in a leaked video from the club's end-of-season 'goodwill tour' of Thailand, during which a variety of crude remarks were made including one of two Thai women being called a "slit-eye".

After an internal investigation Leicester, whose owners Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha are from Thailand, terminated the trio's contracts.

The three players released a statement offering "sincere apologies to the women involved in the incident, to the club and its owners, to the club's fans and to their families''.

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