McCammon race claim 'malicious'

Paul Scally told an employment tribunal Mark McCammon's claims over his Gillingham exit were made "maliciously and were without foundation".

Last Updated: 27/06/12 at 14:36

McCammon: Claims he was racially discriminated against

McCammon: Claims he was racially discriminated against

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Gillingham chairman Scally said the League Two side had not had to deal with an allegation of racism in 18 years.

He was "absolutely confident" that racism was not a feature of the club and said that any allegations would be taken seriously.

Addressing the tribunal in Ashford, Kent, he said that claims by striker McCammon that he was discriminated against because of the colour of his skin contained "no substance".

McCammon, 33, who has played for Barbados, alleges that he and other black players at Gillingham were treated differently from white players.

The 6ft 2in forward claims he was ordered to come into the ground amid "treacherous", snowy driving conditions while some white players were told they were not required.

McCammon has also alleged that the club tried to "frustrate him out" by refusing to pay private medical bills to help him regain his fitness following injury.

Instead, he claims he was offered the same operation on the NHS rather than privately, a move he described as "completely out of character" for a Football League club, and that he was fined two weeks' wages when he paid a visit to a private consultant.

In contrast, the former Charlton, Swindon, Millwall and Brighton player said that a white team-mate was flown to Dubai for treatment by an eminent physiotherapist at the club's expense.

In a letter sent to the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) outlining his grievances, McCammon also claimed he was told not to blog while others were permitted to.

Today Mr Scally suggested McCammon "manufactured" the racism allegations to justify his actions a week earlier when it is said the player barged into manager Andy Hessenthaler's room and accused him of being racist.

The incident, on November 30, 2010, happened after McCammon and his two house-mates, who were also black, were ordered to attend the stadium amid widespread snow across south-east England when other players were not required.

When he arrived at the club, McCammon said in his witness statement that he headed to Hessenthaler's room to confront him about being "racially intolerant" over the decision to order them in.

Dubai-based Mr Scally told the tribunal: "I'm absolutely confident and convinced that there is no racism at the club.

"The incident on November 30 where Mr McCammon said he made some allegations of racism were, I believe, made maliciously and were without foundation."

He added: "I can honestly say we have never in 18 years had an allegation of racism to consider but we take racism seriously as a football club.

"I didn't take (McCammon's claims) seriously as I considered it to be a vindictive claim of racial discrimination.

"I considered it to be a malicious, vindictive, wild and aggressive comment, not worthy of consideration as racism."

McCammon signed for Gillingham in 2008 on £2,500 a week and was the club's highest paid player.

The first season went well but by his third season the Kent club had been relegated to League Two and he suffered an injury that needed an operation.

Mr Scally said he saw it as an obligation by players to see consultants and medical professionals designated by their football club.

As McCammon did not feature in the manager's immediate plans, it was decided that he would receive treatment on the NHS rather than privately.

Mr Scally denied that this represented a breach of contract, and that it was right to dock him two weeks' wages for going ahead with unauthorised treatment without the club's consent.

McCammon is suing Gillingham and Mr Scally for race discrimination, breach of contract, unfair dismissal and failure of his ex-employer to pay him.

The case continues.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

I

love you Degsy, more worringly so does my wife.

hurler
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

Footer 365

UEFA chief Michel Platini says it would be good for football if Sepp Blatter loses FIFA election

Michel Platini is backing Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan in Friday’s FIFA presidential election.

Radamel Falcao to leave Manchester United after loan ends

Manchester United have confirmed Radamel Falcao will return to AS Monaco following his season-long loan with the club.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he'll leave if told by club owners

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said he knows the pressure is on him and will resign if asked to by the club's owners.

Mail Box

Can We Combine Danny And Theo?

The finishing of Theo Walcott and the hold-up play of Danny Welbeck would be just perfect. Plus, lots of Brendan Rodgers, some Big Sam and all hail Degsy...

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company