Evans' return to Valley Parade should come with a parental advisory warning (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Steve Evans' return to Valley Parade should come with a parental advisory warning
Simon Parker column: February 23 sounds a lifetime away in the “here and now” world of the football season.
Here we are only six games into the campaign – by the time Rotherham roll into Valley Parade it will be match 34 and the home straight will be coming into view.
The popular saying likes to claim that a week is a long time in football. So how can you possibly plan for the next five months?
But that particular Saturday afternoon will already be ringed in the Bradford City calendar as a red letter day.
The entry is likely to read: The return of Steve Evans, parental advisory required.
Throw in the OTT reaction from his namesake Gareth after scoring at the New York Stadium a fortnight ago and a powderkeg atmosphere is absolutely guaranteed.
His “crime” sheet with the FA is a lengthy one. In his first season at Crawley, Evans was sent from the dug-out six times
You hope that lessons have been digested from whatever went on after the final whistle of the Crawley match last season.
Those behind the scenes at Valley Parade involved in the FA inquiry into the Rotherham manager are keen to put it behind them.
Fair to say, there was relief all round on Monday afternoon when the news finally filtered through that Evans had been found guilty of using abusive and insulting words and behaviour.
It has been hanging over the club and a few innocent individuals within it for too long. I understand the day-long hearing was a harrowing experience.
Evans, believe it or not, has tempered his touchline behaviour this season. He certainly looked more restrained when his side were beating City 4-0.
But will the penny finally drop after the FA’s actions this week? His decision not to appeal was as close to an apology as the authorities were likely to get. They will need a lot more convincing than that.
For now, it’s best to steer well clear of South Yorkshire garden centres for a few weeks. Otherwise, you might find a rather angry Glaswegian lurking among the Yukka plants.
What else is Evans to do as he spends Rotherham’s next six games anywhere but at the ground where they are playing.
Some may feel that he has got off lightly with a stadium ban and £3,000 fine. But for any football manager, not being there to watch their team – let alone try to influence how they are doing – will be absolute hell.
It’s nothing new for Evans of course. And six games is a mere blink of the eye compared with his suspension at Boston United when he was banned from football for nearly two years over contract irregularities.
His “crime” sheet with the FA is a lengthy one. In his first season at Crawley, Evans was sent from the dug-out six times.
Four of those “red cards” came in the space of seven games. As ban piled on to ban, Evans appealed against a suspended sentence – and was slapped with a further ten-game punishment when he wasn’t allowed any contact with the players for two hours before kick-off, at half-time and for 90 minutes afterwards.
Evans’ former Boston chairman once claimed there was a conspiracy against him. Even those theorists who think Elvis is still alive and the moon landings were staged would be hard pressed to agree.
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