The FA has today confirmed that it has handed out its punishment to Burnley’s Andre Gray in relation to a number of offensive social media posts.
The Twitter posts, which were dated between 2012 and 2014 were of a sexist and homophobic nature, and to that end the FA has deemed it appropriate to suspend him for four games and fine him £25,000.
In a statement on its website, the FA said:
“It was alleged that six postings on Gray’s Twitter account were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to Rule E3(1).
“It was further alleged that these breaches of Rule E3(1) included a reference to sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race contrary to Rule E3(2).
“The player admitted to three of the breaches, and denied the remaining three were in breach of FA Rules.
“Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing yesterday [22 September 2016], the remaining three breaches were found proven.
“The player was also fined £25,000, warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an FA education course.”
The tweets came to light last month, though they had remained on his account since the date they were posted, dating back to when the 25-year-old was playing for Hinckley Town.
Upon said posts coming to light, he subsequently removed them and issued a statement of apology – however, the FA charged him soon after.
Burnley have also issued a statement in reaction to Gray’s punishment, outlining that both player and club accept the punishment handed out:
“Burnley Football Club and Gray accept the Independent Regulatory Commission’s decision, which relate to historical posts made before Andre joined the club in August, 2015.
“Gray himself regrets the posts and has pledged, in an apology, to continue to improve, both as a person and role model to others.
“Burnley Football Club takes its responsibility in the wider community seriously, and through its charitable arm, Burnley FC in the Community, will be investing close to £2m in community work over the forthcoming season.
“We work closely with all of our players, including Andre, on a wide-ranging variety of community programmes and we undertook 300 player appearances last season, which we will be looking to increase in the coming 12 months.
“We believe this charge, regarding historical social media posts, should now also serve as a warning to all professional footballers, and participants in the wider sporting field.”
The ban starts immediately, meaning Gray will miss the Premier League games against Watford, Arsenal, Everton and Southampton.