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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 17:04 GMT
Newell hopes Rayner row is over
Mike Newell
Newell made his comments after Saturday's defeat
Luton boss Mike Newell hopes he can put behind him the row caused by his verbal attack on female official Amy Rayner.

He said after Saturday's loss against QPR that the appointment of women referees and assistants was "tokenism for the politically-correct idiots".

Newell said: "My apology to Amy Rayner, and to anyone I've offended, is unreserved. I was out of order and she has accepted it.

"As far as I'm concerned, the matter is closed," the Luton manager added.

Newell has kept his job but has been severely reprimanded by the club.

He was asked to explain his attack on Tomlins and a statement from Luton said: "Any repetition of such conduct will not be tolerated."

Newell apologised to the board and assured them there will be no repeat.

The Football Association has said it will look into Newell's comments, which he made in his post-match press conference at Kenilworth Road.

Newell contacted Rayner personally to apologise for his outburst, but still faced a meeting with the Luton board.


Luton's statement added: "The club disassociate ourselves totally with the comments Mike Newell made regarding the assistant referee, which are completely unacceptable.

"The club have accepted the manager's explanation and his subsequent public apology."

The former Everton and Blackburn striker was unhappy that Rayner and referee Andy D'Urso failed to award his side a spot-kick when QPR defender Marcus Bignot tangled with Carlos Edwards in the penalty box.

"It is bad enough with the incapable referees and linesmen we have but if you start bringing in women, you have big problems," said Newell.

"This is Championship football. This is not park football, so what are women doing here? It is tokenism, for the politically-correct idiots.

"She should not be here. I know that sounds sexist but I am sexist, so I am not going to be anything other than that."

Newell was also highly critical of chairman Bill Tomlins' running of the club.

He said he thought the club had gone backwards since Tomlins took over two years ago, with a proposed move to a new stadium showing no signs of progress, plus he claimed the chairman would soon be leaving Kenilworth Road.

Newell said: "I have not spoken to the chairman for months. I cannot understand what he is doing here.

"The club has gone backwards off the pitch during the last two years. He has not made any decisions and he has contributed nothing.

"Everything he has got involved in, he has messed up. I am not considering my own future because, apparently, he is going.

"I will not suffer fools - I never have and I never will."

Quotes of the week
13 Nov 06 |  Fun and Games
Newell faces inquiry on 'sexism'
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Why become a referee?
25 Aug 06 |  Get Involved
Luton 2-3 QPR
10 Nov 06 |  Championship
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31 Oct 06 |  Luton Town
Newell pens new Hatters contract
05 Aug 06 |  Luton Town


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