Millwall chairman criticises media coverage of racism claims

© Edmund Boyden

JOHN Berylson has revealed he was left "dismayed" by certain media reports in the wake of Marvin Sordell's claims that he was racially abused by Millwall fans.

The Lions chairman believes the club has been "found guilty in the court of public opinion" before an investigation into the allegations has been completed.

Bolton striker Sordell took to Twitter after Millwall's 2-1 win earlier this month to allege that he and three teammates were the target of jibes on the touchline at The Den

Berylson told the club's official site: "We were dismayed and disappointed by the nature of some of the media coverage we received. The inference in some articles on the subject, was that Millwall is a racist club.

"Previous incidents, largely those in which we had been exonerated, were dredged up as Millwall was tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion. We were not the only 'losers' in this.

"The whole issue of racism itself was trivialised by some sensationalised mud-slinging, when the aim of everyone involved should have been to attempt to substantiate the allegations and to ensure any appropriate action could be taken.

"Millwall, Bolton, the FA and the police are taking the allegations seriously, however. The investigation is ongoing and we are doing everything possible to unearth the facts.

"If an individual is found to be guilty of racial abuse we will ban them from our club for life."

Berylson added: "At Millwall we have done as much, if not more, than any other club in the country to highlight the need for equality within our game, something recognised by the FA and Kick It Out, a fact that is not always acknowledged within the media.

"We don't just talk a good game on the subject we deliver via 'Millwall For All' and a culture throughout our club.

"Our current player of the year, as voted by the fans is Jimmy Abdou and the year previously it was Tamika Mkandawire.

"A slogan we adopted some years ago is 'Lions have pride, not prejudice' and that sums up our position accurately."



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