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Peter Beardsley pulls out of Hong Kong tournament – Avoids complications with Newcastle United

5 months ago
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Peter Beardsley has pulled out of the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens.

The former Newcastle star was set to feature in the Masters section of the tournament, with the first game(s) on Friday.

However, The Mail have now revealed that only 48 hours ahead of it kicking off, Beardsley has withdrawn.

There had been controversy when it was announced Peter Beardsley would take part, as he still has the cloud hanging over him with regard to allegations of bullying and racist comments towards young Newcastle players who were in his care.

An NUFC Under 23s team are taking part in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens as defending champions and it was feared some of those who brought the allegations, could be brought into contact with him, until this late withdrawal.

After the club appeared to try to brush the matter under the carpet (see below) The FA intervened. They charged Peter Beardsley with three breaches of FA rules and gave him until 12 April 2019 to respond. Now 33 days later, there has been nothing  made public as to where The FA are with these charges, nor what Beardsley’s response to them was.

The Mail report:

‘Peter Beardsley has withdrawn from the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens on the eve of the tournament, Sportsmail can reveal.

We reported on Tuesday evening that he was set to take part alongside Newcastle United Under-23s this week, with the Football Association yet to confirm a date for his hearing into three charges of using racist and abusive language towards the club’s academy players.

But Sportsmail understands Beardsley informed organisers on Wednesday that he would not be attending, just 24 hours before the start of the prestigious competition.

Beardsley’s planned presence had been a cause for concern and arrangements were made so that his PlayOn Pros masters team did not come into contact with Newcastle’s players when leaving or entering the pitch at the Hong Kong Football Club.

The PlayOn team, which is put together by Viv Anderson and includes David James, Darren Bent, Michael Gray and Emile Heskey, have also been forced to relocate from the Park Lane Hotel where Newcastle and all other participants are staying. Their squad is now one player short.

The news will come as a relief to Newcastle’s players and staff, who were nervous about crossing paths in the coming days.

Beardsley – who has denied the charges – had his contract terminated as Under-23s coach in March after a 14-month investigation into claims brought by several players.’

The Mag – 14 April 2019:

On 22 March 2019, The FA revealed that Peter Beardsley had been charged with three breaches of FA Rule E3.

In their statements they said:

‘It is alleged Mr Beardsley used abusive and/or insulting words towards Newcastle United FC Under 23 players, which were contrary to FA Rule E3(1), whilst employed as their coach.

It is further alleged these words also constituted an ‘Aggravated Breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as they included reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality.’

The FA forced to act after Newcastle United conducted their own investigation, which lasted over a year and then they refused to release their findings.

Instead, the club and Peter Beardsley released synchronised brief statements (see below), simply saying coach and club had gone their separate ways.

The FA gave Peter Beardsley three weeks to provide a response to the charges and the three weeks were up on Friday (12 April).

Newcastle fans now wondering if this week will at last bring a conclusion to an issue that was first flagged up fully fifteen months ago, when it was announced Peter Beardsley was taking gardening leave whilst the claims were investigated by the club.

The Mag – 22 March 2019:

Peter Beardsley has now been charged by The FA.

The governing body has charged the former Newcastle United coach with three breaches of FA Rule E3.

The news relayed via an official statement (see below) on Friday afternoon.

The statement says ‘Peter Beardsley used abusive and/or insulting words towards Newcastle United FC Under 23 players.’

They then add: ‘It is further alleged these words also constituted an ‘Aggravated Breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as they included reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality.’

The swiftness of action by The FA is in stark contrast to Newcastle United, who dragged their heels for 14 months and then refused to reveal the findings of their investigation (see below).

Official FA Statement:

PETER BEARDSLEY HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH THREE BREACHES OF FA RULE E3

‘Peter Beardsley has been charged with three breaches of FA Rule E3.

It is alleged Mr Beardsley used abusive and/or insulting words towards Newcastle United FC Under 23 players, which were contrary to FA Rule E3(1), whilst employed as their coach.

It is further alleged these words also constituted an ‘Aggravated Breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as they included reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality.

He has until Friday 12 April 2019 to provide a response.’

The Mag – 17 March 2019:

Newcastle United refused to release the findings of their investigation into allegations of bullying and racism by Peter Beardsley.

Instead, the (now former) coach and club released simultaneous short statements (see below) 11 days ago, simply saying that they had parted company.

Nothing revealed of what NUFC’s 14 month investigation had decided.

This then forced the Football Association to act, once it was clear Newcastle United wouldn’t bring a proper conclusion to the matter.

Former police officer Jenni Kennedy is leading the FA’s investigation into what did or didn’t happen with Peter Beardsley at the club, she is the governing body’s head of integrity.

The football club’s handling of the investigation will also be looked into.

In the meantime, Peter Beardsley has taken on a number of public engagements, the first of which was a talk-in this weekend.

The former Newcastle player and coach ‘happy’ to speak abut the matter at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead.

Peter Beardsley speaking at Hilton Hotel talk-in this weekend, as reported by The Mail:

“Thank you for coming, I really mean that. Most of you in this room will realise that I’m not a bully and I’m not a racist.

“Everybody in the city of Newcastle has been amazing, for 15 months, they’ve been amazing.

“There are certain people [referring to journalists] in this room who haven’t but that’s just the way it is.

“I know what I am and everybody who knows me, my family, my friends, knows what I am. I’m comfortable with what I am.

“It is what it is, I’m just ready to move on.”

The simple truth is though, how can anybody move on until there is a proper conclusion to the matter? Newcastle fans and the young players who made the accusations, they all need to find out what the conclusions of the investigation are, as does Peter Beardsley himself.

Peter Beardsley official statement released via his legal representatives – 6 March 2019:

“The time is now right for me to seek a new challenge and I wish the players all the best and the supporters the success they deserve.

“I have always honoured my contractual obligations of confidentiality to the Club and maintained my silence, which has in itself been very difficult.

“I am incredibly grateful for the tremendous support I have received and I look forward to the future.”

Newcastle United official statement – 6 March 2019

“Newcastle United can confirm that Peter Beardsley is no longer employed by the club.

“We are grateful for the contribution Peter has given over the years as a player, coach and ambassador and we wish him well for the future.

“The club will make no further comment at this time.”

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