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By ESPN Staff

Arsenal chairman plays down Wenger-Pards spat

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood maintains Arsene Wenger's touchline bust-up with West Ham boss Alan Pardew was 'a very minor incident'.

The pair has to be separated following Marlon Harewood's late winner for the home side at Upton Park on Sunday, following celebrations by Pardew.

French coach Wenger refused to shake his rival's hand at the end of the match, and left without speaking to the press.

Pardew has since apologised, with the League Managers' Association set to attempt mediation while the Football Association are currently reviewing TV footage before deciding whether to take any action against either man.

Hill-Wood, however, has been quick to play the whole incident down.

'I think it is a very minor incident,' he said.

'It was a brief little piece of passion and I really do not think it is a serious thing at all.'

Hill-Wood told The Daily Star: 'It was a little flurry and, quite honestly, it is a game played with great passion and people are passionate about it. So I am very relaxed.

'I have not said anything to Arsene about it and I do not intend to say anything to him about it.'

Hill-Wood watched the match from his home, and reflected: 'I think Arsene was pretty upset but I am sure he will talk next time there is a press conference.

'I do not think this incident is comparable and, quite frankly, it should be passed over as it really is not serious.'

Arsenal play Everton at Goodison Park in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night.