New Colchester boss Wayne Brown was ‘banned for alleged racist rant in Leicester dressing room’ but chief executive Robbie Cowling insists he has no concerns after talks with former BNP voter
- The 43-year-old was placed in temporary charge of Colchester this week
- Brown’s alleged indiscretion came towards the end of his playing career
- He allegedly launched an abusive attack on immigrants in 2010
- It happened as Leicester players discussed the general election after training
- Brown was disciplined by Leicester and left the club shortly afterwards
Anti-racism campaigners have been left disappointed by Colchester United’s managerial appointment of Wayne Brown, a former BNP voter who was suspended by his old club Leicester following an alleged racist rant in the dressing room.
The former Colchester defender was placed in temporary charge this week following the sacking of head coach Steve Ball, but the club are not seeking other applications and Brown will be given the chance to stake a claim for the job on a permanent basis.
Brown’s alleged indiscretion at Leicester came towards the end of a lengthy playing career in May 2010, after which he never played for the club again.
Former defender Wayne Brown was placed in temporary charge of Colchester this week
The alleged incident occurred following a training session during which Leicester’s players were discussing the recent general election, which led to Brown telling a racially mixed group that he had voted for the BNP.
Following outrage from several players Brown refused to back down, allegedly launching what sources described as an abusive attack on immigrants.
Brown was disciplined by Leicester with manager Nigel Pearson dropping him from his squad for their play-off semi-final defeat to Cardiff City, despite having played 39 of their 46 Championship matches that season, and he left the club shortly afterwards.
The 43-year-old did not face disciplinary action from the FA however, although he did apologise to his Leicester team-mates for any offence he had caused.
Brown’s alleged indiscretion at Leicester came towards the end of a lengthy playing career
Kick It Out declined to comment publicly when contacted by Sportsmail, but senior sources at the anti-discrimination campaign expressed disappointment at Brown’s appointment.
‘The incident was a long time ago, but if he still holds these views he should not be put in charge of a football club,’ one said. In keeping with most professional clubs Colchester’s squad is very racially diverse, with nine players from BAME backgrounds involved in Tuesday’s defeat to Exeter City, plus assistant head coach Hayden Mullins.
Colchester chief executive Robbie Cowling has no concerns however, and told Sportsmail that he addressed the issue with Brown before recruiting him to run the club’s Under 23s five years ago, a role he continued when joining Maldon and Tiptree in the Isthmian League North as manager three years ago in 2018.
‘I had some reservations before bringing Wayne back to the club for the first time, but we discussed the issue in depth and have had no problems since,’ Cowling said.
‘I’ve got to know him really well and he hasn’t shown any sign of having any racist or offensive views. If he did I wouldn’t employ him as a ball-carrier, never mind as manager.
Cowling has a strong record of fighting racism and recently condemned Colchester fans who booed players taking the knee before a League Two game against Grimsby in December, saying they were ‘not welcome at the club’.
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