Peter Beardsley banned from football-related activity for eight months over use of racist and abusive language

Written by on 20/09/2019

Former Newcastle academy coach Peter Beardsley has been banned from all football-related activity for 32 weeks after being found guilty of using racist and abusive language by an Independent Regulatory Commission.

The FA charged Beardsley with three “aggravated breaches” of FA Rule E3, which regards the use of racist and abusive language towards Newcastle U23 players during his time as their coach.

Beardsley left the role in March following a 14-month internal investigation after a complaint was made by midfielder Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, who left the club in January 2018.

All three breaches were denied by Beardsley but subsequently found proven based upon the results and findings of Newcastle United disciplinary proceedings.

Beardsley has been ordered to complete a face-to-face education course as well as serve the eight-month ban until April 29, 2020.

The regulatory commission’s written reasons for its decision reveal it accepted allegations made by four unnamed players that Beardsley had told black players of African origin that, “You should be used to that”, during a team-building exercise at an outdoor-activity centre, suggested 18-year-old players were older than they claimed and called another a monkey.

In its conclusion, the commission said: “We regret the outcome that we have felt compelled to reach in this case. Mr Beardsley is a towering figure in football and his footballing reputation is beyond question.

“But on the three occasions which are the subject of the charges, he made remarks which were obviously racist and were wholly unacceptable. Even if he did not intend to do so, he plainly did cause offence.

“It is particularly important at a time when racism in football is prevalent that remarks of the kind made by Mr Beardsley are punished severely.”

In a statement released on his behalf by his solicitors, Beardsley spoke of his disappointment at the decision, but vowed to return to football.

It read: “Peter Beardsley is very surprised and disappointed by the decision of the Regulatory Commission.

“It was almost impossible for Peter to clear his name because of the serious flaws and contamination of evidence that occurred in the disciplinary process before Newcastle United and by the unusual fact that The FA Rules put the burden of proof on him to prove his innocence in the proceedings.

“After a long process which has been unnecessarily protracted, Peter feels vindicated that the commission has expressly found that he is not a racist.

“Surprisingly, Newcastle United did not provide the relevant training and education for Peter. Peter has always been willing and eager to attend all and any training organised by the club.”

(c) Sky Sports 2019: Peter Beardsley banned from football-related activity for eight months over use of racist and abusive language

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