Beckenham Town: The way in which individuals and media outlets took to Twitter to threaten Peter Palmer, as well as deliberately attempt to defame and destroy the football club whilst the full evidence was not present is inexcusable
BECKENHAM TOWN will be undertaking legal proceedings against parties that accused club secretary Peter Palmer of making racist comments following a cup game in April.
Mr Palmer was wrongly accused of making alleged racist comments following a game between The Wall FC and FC Elmstead at Eden Park Avenue.
A video was circulated on social media which claimed Mr Palmer made a racist slur following the match – these alleged comments were picked up by a video that was filming the action from behind one of the goals.
However, an investigation has concluded that a conversation between Mr Palmer and one of the match officials about the length of the grass ‘was manipulated to become an alleged racist slur.”
Players and management of The Wall FC conducted media interviews claiming that they were victims of racist abuse.
Mr Palmer was subject to death threats and the club received social media abuse.
The club state that “the way in which individuals and media outlets took to Twitter to threaten Peter Palmer, as well as deliberately attempt to defame and destroy the football club whilst the full evidence was not present is inexcusable.”
The club issued the following statement on Friday, which is published in full.
“Following the conclusion of The FA and Metropolitan Police investigations into allegations of racism made by The Wall FC we are now in receipt of the Written Reasons and able to comment on the matter.
“Throughout this process we have been guided by advice from The FA, London FA and legal advice. Although other parties decided to conduct TV interviews and be vocal on social media platforms, we abided by the advice and FA regulations at all times. These regulations prevented us from making public comments on the investigation, evidence and allegations.
“The video that circulated on Twitter falsely accused a dedicated club official, Peter Palmer, of being racist. The video used incorrect and fabricated subtitles, and large sections had been edited out to wrongly portray the events that happened that evening.
“A conversation about the length of the grass was manipulated to become an alleged racist slur and we welcome The FA concluding that “the subtitles contained within the original social media post from The Wall FC were therefore incorrect.”
“Social media has a lot of positives but it also has many negatives, and the way in which individuals and media outlets took to Twitter to threaten Peter Palmer, as well as deliberately attempt to defame and destroy the football club whilst the full evidence was not present is inexcusable.
“As a result of The FA investigation neither Beckenham Town FC or any club official was charged, and the subsequent charges against the individual who received them were then dropped during an FA appeal. The Written Reasons will shortly be available to view on The FA website. No charges were sought by the Metropolitan Police following their investigation.
“We are extremely disappointed in the lack of support we have received from London FA, our parent County FA, throughout the whole investigation. Lack of assistance in the early stages, along with what we feel is a disparity in the way we have been treated in the end stages has resulted in an outcome that leaves us undertaking legal proceedings against various parties.
“We strongly disagree with the refusal by The FA and Kent FA to bring charges against The Wall FC despite clear evidence of several breaches of regulations throughout this investigation.
“Nobody in society should ever be subject to discrimination of any form, and it must be stamped out for good. As a club we will continue to be open and inclusive to everyone in the community.
“To those who have stood by us and supported us through this time, and to those who have subsequently issued apologies, we thank you.
“We can now look forward to our inaugural campaign in the Isthmian League Division One South East.”
Beckenham Town celebrated winning the Combined Counties League Premier Division South title just a couple of days after the video was circulated – and they can now prepare for their maiden Isthmian League South East Division campaign in August.