Gillingham lose appeal in case against Mark McCammon
The Football Association have rejected Gillingham’s appeal in relation to the race victimisation case against former player Mark McCammon.
In April an Independent Regulatory Commission found the club and chairman Paul Scally guilty of committing an act of race victimisation.
The club and Mr Scally were both fined £75,000 and both lodged an appeal. The matter was heard by an appeal board at Wembley Stadium on 15 September.
The original decision was upheld in addition to the fine for Mr Scally but the fine for the club was reduced to £50,000.
On November 30, 2010, Mr McCammon, who was a member of the first team, believed he had been treated unfairly by the then manager Andy Hessenthaler and assistant boss Nicky Southall. Mr McCammon accused them of being racist.
The player was dismissed after an internal investigation. It was stated by Mr McCammon that one of the reasons for his dismissal had been the accusation made by him concerning racism.
What was disputed, at the subsequent employment tribunal, was whether the player had a genuine belief in his accusation.
An employment tribunal in July 2013 ruled that the player had been the subject of race victimisation by dismissal and damages were awarded. The decision of the Employment Tribunal was upheld on appeal in September 2013.
A year ago the FA charged the club and Mr Scally with a breach of FA Rule E3(1) in failing to act in the best interests of the game and/or bringing the game into dispute by their conduct in committing an act of race victimisation in the dismissal of their player.
Gillingham and Mr Scally denied that they had sacked the player purely down to his accusation of racism.
The appeal board’s finding state the original “commision were not unreasonable to have arrived at the verdict they did.” It adds “there was no clear and convincing evidence that the finding of the tribunal was other than true and correct.”
On top of his fine, Mr Scally has been ordered to pay half of the costs of his appeal. Gillingham FC’s appeal fee has been returned and the fine for the club reduced as it was deemed excessive by the appeal board.
The findings said: “The burden the substantial fine would have upon them as a club for their size and resources.”
The appeal board’s findings revealed that the commission could have imposed a sporting sanction on the club for this offence.
From Kent Messenger