Sport Soccer

Saturday 15 December 2018

West Ham sack Tony Henry after investigation into racism allegations

The club’s director of player recruitment allegedly said the Hammers do not want to sign any more African players.

London Stadium File Photo
London Stadium File Photo

By Press Association Sport staff

West Ham have sacked director of player recruitment Tony Henry after claims he told agents the club do not want to sign any more African players.

The Hammers have acted swiftly following the allegations, having previously suspended him on Thursday.

According to the Daily Mail, Henry said the Hammers wanted to limit the number of African players because “they have a bad attitude” and “cause mayhem” when they are not in the team.

A club statement read: “West Ham United have today terminated the contract of Director of Player Recruitment, Tony Henry, with immediate effect following his unacceptable comments that were widely reported in the press.

“Our action follows a full and thorough investigation. West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination.

“The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.”

Tony Henry File Photo

Hammers boss David Moyes had already distanced the club from the comments allegedly made by Henry.

Moyes, who also worked with Henry at Everton, highlighted their failed attempts to sign both Algeria’s Islam Slimani and the Cameroon-born Ibrahim Amadou before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.

He said: “The comments are wrong. We were signing two players from Africa on deadline day so I can only say they are wrong.

Leicester City v Leeds United – Carabao Cup – Fourth Round – King Power Stadium

“You can see the players the club has signed over the years – we sign good quality players, the best we can get. It doesn’t matter where they are from.

“Never, ever, never at all (have I experienced prejudice like that).

“I don’t think there are many other clubs who have as many African players as West Ham. I find it difficult to believe anyone could say we are not a multi-national team who sign good players, the best available.

“Over my time I’ve had good African players and bad African players – it’s just like having good Scottish players and bad Scottish players.”

West Ham have six first-team squad members of African descent: Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Joao Mario, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku and Edimilson Fernandes.

Senegal striker Diafra Sakho left the club in the January to join Rennes and Ghana forward Andre Ayew returned to Swansea.

The Professional Footballers’ Association had also previously described West Ham’s “swift action” of suspending Henry as “encouraging”, adding in a statement: “We trust they will deal with this in keeping with football’s position on all matters of equality and anti-racism.”

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