John Yems: former Crawley manager charged by FA over racism allegations

The former Crawley Town manager John Yems has been hit with multiple charges by the Football Association, accused of discriminatory behaviour towards his players and of making offensive comments on no fewer than 16 occasions.

Yems was suspended from his role at League Two Crawley in May after a series of allegations were made against the 62-year-old. The accusations included, but were not limited to, calling players of Asian heritage “terrorists, suicide bombers and curry munchers”, and creating a racially segregated dressing room. Yems denied those claims but was let go by Crawley’s new owners.

On Thursday the FA announced it had completed its investigation into Yems’s behaviour and had charged him with multiple aggravated breaches of rule E3, which deals with improper behaviour. He was also charged with breaking rule E4, which deals with discrimination and victimisation. An aggravated breach is an offence that includes actions that discriminate against ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, religion, belief and/or gender.

“It is alleged that during the period between 2019 and 2022 the former manager of Crawley Town FC made 16 comments in breach of FA rule E3.2,” an FA spokesperson said. “It is alleged that each breach amounts to an aggravated breach. It is further alleged that … Mr Yems also discriminated against Crawley Town players … in breach of FA rule E4.”

The allegations came to light after a number of Crawley players chose to speak to the Professional Footballers’ Association. In a statement the players’ union encouraged any players experiencing discrimination to follow the same path.

“It takes courage for an employee to come forward with concerns about discrimination in their workplace,” a spokesperson said. “It’s a decision that will involve understandable anxieties regarding potential career impacts and longer term employability.

“That’s why it’s crucial that the PFA is here to advocate for players and act as an independent source of support and advice on important matters such as this.”

Yems has until 4 August to submit a response to the FA.