Grimsby Town’s Elliot Whitehouse has been given a six-game ban as well as a £2000 fine for using abusive language towards Irish midfielder Alan McCormack.
The FA charged Whitehouse following Grimsby’s League Two clash with Northampton on 23 November 2019, in which it was alleged that the midfielder referred to Dublin-born McCormack as a ‘pikey.’
According to the FA’s report the following exchange allegedly occurred between the two players in the 77th minute of the game;
Whitehouse said: “That’s all you fu**ing do is moan, you pikey.”
McCormack replied: “What the f**k did you say?”
Whitehouse replied: “Shut up you pikey.”
— Jake Sharpe (@JournoJakeS) May 27, 2020
During the FA’s hearing, Whitehouse outlined that ‘pikey’ was not a term he would normally use to describe members of the travelling community and that he was unaware that it was of an offensive nature.
Whitehouse admitted to using the word and apologised and will also now have to undergo an FA education course in addition to his fine and ban.
McCormack, who joined Northampton last summer after a successful spell with Luton Town, outlined in his evidence that “he couldn’t believe someone would use a discriminatory term so openly.”
“I was certain I had heard [him] correctly, but couldn’t believe someone would use a discriminatory term so openly. We were within two yards of each other and I clearly heard the comment. In a state of disbelief, I asked him ‘what the f*ck did you say?’ and he responded ‘shut up you pikey’.”
The 26-year-old will not be returning to Grimsby next season when his contract runs out in June and the club’s chairman Philip Day said: “The club deplores any actions that are deemed to be of a racist nature.”
Whitehouse is the second player to be charged by the FA following the use of the derogatory term in the last few months following Sam Finley of Accrington Stanley receiving an eight-match ban and a fine of £850 in a similar incident with Paul McShane.