THE Football Association (FA) has started an investigation against Crawley Town’s suspended manager John Yems for allegedly abusing his own players with racist insults, according to a report.
Yems, 62, has allegedly called players ‘suicide bomber’, ‘terrorist’ and ‘Zulu Warrior’, and also ran a segregated training ground where the club’s black stars use a separate changing room, reported the Sportsmail.
Crawley’s American owners, investment group WAGMI United, removed Yems within hours of announcing the probe and asked him to leave the team hotel in Mansfield at 1.30am ahead of a match later that day.
According to the Sportsmail report, Yems even asked white players ‘not to change in the black boys’ room’. He also referred players from Asian backgrounds as ‘terrorists, suicide bombers and curry munchers’.
The media report also said that the manager frequently used the n-word and referred one black player as a ‘Zulu warrior’. Yems called a young player of Cypriot extraction a ‘Greek bobble-head’ and mocking Greek music.
Later, seven players complained to the PFA last month, with at least one seeking counselling as a result of the damage the manager did to his mental health.
Sportsmail revealed that many players were left traumatised by their alleged treatment at the hands of Yems, with several of them in tears as they confided in staff at Crawley over the last couple of weeks.
“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. 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,” one player was quoted as saying by the Sportsmail.
“I’ve been in a dark place and really struggled. 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*** off you c***s, get out of our club.”
A member of staff at Crawley has said that John would see it as banter, but it’s race-related bullying that has had a damaging effect on several players.
Crawley described the allegations as ‘serious and credible’. Now, the FA’s disciplinary department should decide whether to charge Yems with a breach of rule E3, which prohibits discrimination against another individual’s protected characteristics such as race, colour, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
“We are treating the allegations extremely seriously and are conducting an investigation. We cannot comment further until that has concluded,” an FA spokesperson told Sportsmail.
Crawley have lost all three of their matches since Yems was suspended. Fans chanted ‘We want our Yems back’ during the club’s last week 2-0 home defeat by Leyton Orient.
Crawley have launched their own inquiry and could take further action before the FA’s probe is concluded, it is learnt.