Sunderland back Moyes despite admitting reporter exchange was 'wholly unacceptable'

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The former Manchester United manager retains the support of the Sunderland board despite his comments to BBC reporter Vicki Sparks

Sunderland have reiterated their support for beleaguered manager David Moyes but conceded his conduct with BBC reporter Vicki Sparks was "wholly unacceptable".

Moyes was recorded threatening to slap Sparks following the Black Cats' goalless draw with Burnley at the Stadium of Light last month.

The former Manchester United boss was asked about the presence of chairman Ellis Short at the game and whether he felt it placed him under greater pressure with the club propping up the Premier League table.

Moyes apologises for 'slap' threat

Moyes answered the question but, once the interview had ended, was taped telling Sparks: "Just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there so just watch yourself.

"You still might get a slap even though you're a woman. Careful the next time you come in."

Both Sparks and Moyes were laughing during the exchange, but the words used by Moyes have brought a wave of condemnation, with the Football Association also asking Sunderland for their observations.

Moyes apologised a day after the interview happened and again on Monday at his press conference ahead of Tuesday's trip to resurgent Leicester City.

David Moyes Sunderland

And Sunderland released a statement in the build-up to the game at the King Power Stadium making it clear they still support Moyes in his role.

The statement read: "Sunderland AFC would like to reiterate the actions taken following the Burnley game on March 18.

"The exchange between the manager and a BBC reporter was wholly unacceptable and such actions are not condoned or excused in any way. David recognised this immediately, proactively bringing the matter to the attention of the CEO and apologising to the reporter.

'Moyes can't get away with sexist threats'

"The club also spoke with both a senior figure at the BBC and the reporter personally, expressing its profound regret over what had occurred.

"The matter was treated with the utmost seriousness from the outset and the swift and decisive action taken by the club and the manager at the time ensured that it was resolved to the satisfaction of the reporter and the BBC, which was the priority.

"With both the BBC and the reporter agreeing that appropriate action had been taken at the time, the club continues to fully support David in his role as manager of Sunderland AFC."

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