PARDEW: No Racism At Our Club

Last updated : 17 December 2002 By Rob Cooper
Alan Pardew
Pards: No Racism At Our Club
The Royals have a multi-race club that wouldn't dream of discriminating against Black or Asian players according to Alan Pardew.

Pardew fears that Reading Football Club's reputation could be damaged following the racist comments that John Mackie made to Sheffield United's Carl Asaba following the Blades 2-0 win over Reading last Saturday.

An incident occured in the tunnel before continuing when the players returned to the pitch to warm down.

Speaking at a press conference the Royals boss said: "It's unfortunate that a club such as ourselves has been given a racial slur through this, because there's no club that does more on the race issue.

"We've got a lot of coloured and Asian players and we're big supporters of the lets kick racism out campaign so it's a shame."

Pardew went onto speak out in defence of his centre-back, suggesting that the FA should treat him lightly following his apology.

"I think what John has done now is very fair, and I hope thats taken into account if he goes to the FA. It was a serious thing and we're not trying to hide that. He can't turn back the clock but John has done exactly the right thing - he's been a captain of this club and he's reacted in a captain's manner."

Carl Asaba
Carl Asaba
Whilst it is clear that Reading Football Club is not a racist club there are still question marks as to whether John Mackie is a racist person. The FA could well choose to get tough and throw the book at a player who has broken a code of conduct the nation feels so strongly about.