By Warren Haughton
Last Updated: 20th September 2019
PETER BEARDSLEY was “very surprised and disappointed” after he was banned from football for seven months after being found guilty of making racist comments to Newcastle Under-23 players in 2017.
The 58-year-old reckons he’s not a racist after telling two black players attempting a climb at adventure centre Go Ape: “Your lot should be good at this”.
He also threw in the classic racial stereotype of African players questioning their age, suggesting they commit fraud and lie about how old they are.
And how about calling a black player a monkey during training?
I believe we live in a rehabilitative society and people should be given a second chance.
But part of that process has to be a recognition of wrongdoing – Beardsley failed this test big time in front of the FA’s independent panel who had “serious reservations about Mr Beardsley’s credibility”.
The former Newcastle, Liverpool and England striker insisted the black player made up the allegations and were motivated by greed. He additionally alleged the players in question had beef with him because they could not get into his team.
Beardsley has shown no remorse and has tried to make the shameful episode that has tarnished his reputation about him.
He will now take part in an educational programme as he is unable to comprehend how anyone would find his remarks offensive.
The huge hole in this process is the man himself, how can he have his road to Damascus moment when he does not think he has done anything wrong?
In his shameful statement he even had the brass neck to name-check Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and John Barnes as former team-mates who have supported him….see what he did there?
This sorry mess should be about the players who were full of hope and dreamed of playing for Newcastle, wearing the famous black and white shirt for the first-team at St James’ Park.
They had to endure this racial abuse and bullying from Beardsley over years and must have dreaded going into training under his so-called guidance.
How can they pick up the pieces of their football careers after years of abuse and even more years waiting for a conclusion to this nightmare?
Newcastle have not exactly covered themselves in glory here.
The club top brass knew about the allegations, but allowed Beardsley to continue in his role, showing no duty of care to the players.
And how about that independent FA panel of Lord Dyson, former Aston Villa and Everton midfielder turn lawyer Gareth Farrelly and former Sheffield United forward Tony Agana?
The trio “regret the outcome we have felt compelled to reach” and Beardsley “is a towering figure in football.”
Independent panels should never “regret” any outcome they reach in any case against anyone.
It was almost as if they were reluctant to find a such a big name in football guilty of such charges.
But the panel found it within their remit somehow to declare Beardsley is not racist.
A staggering conclusion to reach, bearing in mind they were there to ascertain his guilt or innocence of three FA charges.
The panel should have simply come their conclusion and not feel they have the right to decide if anyone is racist or not, they should do their job and let the public decide the rest.