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4 May, 2022 12:18

English football manager accused of ‘racially segregating’ players

The coach is under investigation after the shocking claims were reported
English football manager accused of ‘racially segregating’ players

The extent of the racial abuse allegations against suspended English football manager John Yems has been revealed, with the coach accused of enforcing racial segregation in the changing room and insulting black and Asian players. 

Yems, who is manager of League Two team Crawley Town, is currently the subject of an English Football Association (FA) investigation. 

The Daily Mail revealed last month how the FA had opened a probe into the 62-year-old's conduct after Crawley players complained about his alleged offensive language to the Professional Footballers Association (PFA).

The League Two outfit suspended Yems the day after the story broke, with Crawley's WAGMI United investment group owners removing Yems from his post at 1:30 AM in the team hotel in Mansfield on the eve of a match.

Details of the extent of Yems' alleged abuse were revealed on Tuesday by the same paper. The manager was accused of insulting his own players with offensive slurs including "suicide bomber," "terrorist" and "curry muncher" for those of Asian descent and "Zulu Warrior" for others with African roots, while Yems reportedly used the "n-word."

One youth team player was dubbed a "suicide bomber" on a regular basis and told by Yems not to take the train home wearing a backpack as a way of preventing fears from other passengers that he planned to blow it up.

Another young player with a Cypriot background was also allegedly dubbed a "Greek bobble-head" as Yems mocked Greek-style music in his presence.

Furthermore, Yems is said to have run a segregated training ground with the club's black players forced to use a separate changing room than their white counterparts.

Yems reportedly told white players "don't change in the black boys' room" to reinforce his unofficial policy and banished two ethnic minority players from the first team training sessions without any explanation.

Understandably, Yems' alleged conduct caused resentment across his squad to the extent that seven players complained to the PFA in April and one of them had to seek counseling for the damaging effect the manager had on his mental health.

As the FA deals with Yems, numerous players have been left traumatized and some were in tears while confiding with staff over the past fortnight, according to the Daily Mail, who have also spoken to one unnamed player and an unnamed member of staff.

"He called us terrorists, suicide bombers, curry munchers. He also called one of the players a Zulu warrior. It’s been going on since 2020-21 – in the changing room, during training," alleged the player.

"No one challenged him on it as he’s the gaffer and we didn’t feel we could. Sometimes players say things in the heat of the moment but from the manager it’s different. He’s the boss, so it’s an abuse of his power.

"I’ve been in a dark place and really struggled," confessed the suffering footballer. "Two players were effectively kicked out of the club last year for no reason. They were made to train on their own and haven’t been seen since. One of the lads said Yems was screaming in their faces, 'F**k off you c**ts, get out of our club'."

The member of staff said that while Yems saw his conduct as "banter", it was "race-related bullying" that has "had a damaging effect on several players."

"Some of them would play along but it’s really hurtful, and many of them are young boys. People were uncomfortable, but most of the players opted to keep their heads down and you can understand why," the staff member continued.

"These are not Premier League players – they are only one fallout with the manager from being kicked out of the club and probably falling out of the professional game. If you leave Crawley, where do you go?" it was asked.

Approached for comment by the Daily Mail, an FA Spokesperson said the allegations were being treated "extremely seriously" while confirming that the body is currently conducting an investigation and can therefore not comment any further until it concludes.

Despite the controversy surrounding his name, the suspended manager remains a fan favorite at Crawley, which has lost all three of its fixtures since he was disciplined. 

During Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Leyton Orient at its home People's Pension Stadium, supporters chanted "we want our Yems back" amid Crawley also launching its own inquiry, which could see further action lodged against Yems before the FA's investigation has been brought to a close.