Unai Emery avoided a touchline ban after the Arsenal head coach admitted a Football Association charge of improper conduct for kicking a water bottle into the Brighton crowd on Boxing Day.
The 47-year-old was instead fined £8,000 after accepting the standard penalty for the charge following the incident during a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.
Emery immediately apologised to a supporter after kicking the bottle into the stand and again went to speak to the home fan at full-time, while Arsenal also gave Laurent Koscielny’s shirt to the person involved.
Arsenal Manager Unai Emery has been fined £8,000 after he admitted an FA improper conduct charge and accepted the standard penalty. It concerned his conduct during the game against Brighton on 26 December 2018. pic.twitter.com/szlnUmGPIB— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) December 31, 2018
The FA announced last Thursday that the Spaniard had been charged over the incident – although Emery himself had initially hoped his apology would have been enough to see him escape any punishment.
“I hope so, yes,” he replied when asked before the FA charge whether his apology should be the end of the matter.
“But I have to respect the decision because it is a circumstance of my action but not another intention from me with the supporter. I say to them my apology.
“I say yesterday my apologies, I kicked the bottle in frustration but not for the supporter, I kicked for me and it went near to the supporter and I said to them my apologies. There is not another communication.
“I repeat today my apologies for my individual action but I kick the bottle because it is near me, but not because it is my intention.”
The FA opted to charge Emery, and issued a statement on Monday afternoon with their findings.
“Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been fined £8,000 after he admitted an FA improper conduct charge and accepted the standard penalty. It concerned his conduct during the game against Brighton on 26 December 2018,” it read.
Emery could have been handed a ban but the former Paris St Germain boss, whose Arsenal side were thrashed 5-1 at Liverpool on Saturday, will be free to take the reins against Fulham on New Year’s Day.
Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho received a one-match touchline ban for kicking a bottle of water during a clash against West Ham in 2016. He was also sent to the stands during the 1-1 draw after lashing out following referee Jonathan Moss’ decision to book Paul Pogba for diving.