Mike Newell is facing up to a four match League of Ireland ban after being sent off over an argument over the colour of sock tape.

The Rovers title-winner, now assistant manager at Waterford, was sent off from the dugout in last week’s defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic after reportedly clashing with officials over the colour of tape on the socks of two substitutes preparing to be introduced.

The Waterford players in question weren’t wearing the same coloured tape as their socks, but Newell argued with referee Graham Kelly that the same rules weren’t being adhered to by their opponents.

Kelly sent Newell to the stands for the second time this season, having also been dismissed on the opening weekend of the season following an argument with the official.

The Irish Mirror report that Newell will now be banned for four games, but that won’t start until Monday, allowing him to be on the touchline for tonight’s game with Dundalk.

But by the time he’s served his upcoming suspension, it will mean Newell, who is working alongside manager Kevin Sheedy following their appointment in December, will have not been in the dugout for seven of their opening 12 matches.  

Newell was named as assistant to Sheedy in December, his first role since leaving Wrexham in 2019 after working as number two to Graham Barrow.

Since hanging up his boots in 2001 following a spell at Blackpool, Newell, now 56, has managed Hartlepool United, Luton Town and Grimsby Town.

In his playing days he scored 172 career goals, enjoying his best spell with Rovers after being signed for a seven-figure fee by Rovers in November 1991, making him, at the time, the most expensive signing ever by a second tier club.

He helped fire Rovers to promotion under Kenny Dalglish, scoring from the spot in a 1-0 play-off final win over Leicester City to end a 26-year absence from the top flight.

He scored 13 times in 1992/93, but the arrivals of Kevin Gallacher and Chris Sutton pushed him down the pecking order at Ewood Park, but he did feature 10 times in the title-winning season of 1994/95 to ensure he had a winners medal around his neck.

Arguably his finest hour was a nine minute Champions League hat-trick for Rovers against Rosenborg BK in December 1995, a record that would stand for 16 years.