Wednesday 21 February 2018

Newcastle legend Peter Beardsley under investigation by club for bullying

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Newcastle United reserve coach Peter Beardsley looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St James' Park on October 31, 2010 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Newcastle United reserve coach Peter Beardsley looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St James' Park on October 31, 2010 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Newcastle have launched an investigation after an allegation of bullying was made against Under-23s coach Peter Beardsley.

22-year-old midfielder Yasin Ben El-Mhanni has lodged a complaint against the former Magpies and England striker.

The club is not commenting on the matter, but it is understood that a grievance meeting has been scheduled.

Beardsley made more than 300 appearances for the Tyneside club in two spells and was capped 59 times by his country during a glittering playing career which also took him to Liverpool and Everton among others.

It is not the first time he has found himself at the centre of claims of unfair treatment during his time working with Newcastle's youth players.

In 2003, he and Academy director Kenny Wharton were cleared after an FA Premier League inquiry dismissed allegations of bullying made by youth players James Beaumont and Ross Gardner.

He left the club in 2006 but having returned in an ambassadorial role following Mike Ashley's takeover, was appointed as an Academy coach once again in 2009.

El-Mhanni rose to prominence after establishing himself as an internet sensation with his freestyle skills, and he has doubled for Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar in television adverts.

He began his professional career at Barnet before joining Newcastle during the summer of 2016, and has made two senior appearances, both of them in last season's FA Cup as manager Rafael Benitez rested his first team players.

Press Association

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