Nottingham

Notts County racism claims: Police to look at complaints

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Media captionPolice confirmed they are looking at allegations of racism and bullying that led to the resignation of two coaches

Allegations of bullying and racism that led to the resignation of two coaches at Notts County are being looked at, Nottinghamshire Police have confirmed.

Youth coaches Brett Adams and Lee Broster, who both left the League One club on Friday, have not commented on the claims.

The football club said "a stringent investigation" had been launched into the complaints.

Nottinghamshire Police said their inquiry was in "the early stages".

Gagging clauses

The BBC understands it has been alleged that Mr Adams threw a banana at a black player who was shocked and wondered if it was a racial insult.

One boy claimed Mr Broster turned out the lights and asked the black players to smile so he could tell where they were.

The club said in a statement: "We take any allegations of inappropriate behaviour seriously and will always investigate fully any accusations brought against anyone involved with the club."

The coaches resigned before a disciplinary hearing took place.

The two coaches have so-called gagging clauses that prevent them from speaking about the issue, the BBC understands.

A Nottinghamshire Police statement said: "It has been reported as a hate incident and it is a third party report. We are in the early stages of the enquiry."

Gordon Taylor of the Professional Footballers Association said: "In fairness to Notts County they had their child protection officer in there (at a meeting about the complaints) and we had our people in there and we were satisfied with the procedure and, as a result, the coaches involved have left the club."

John Elliott, who coaches football at a local level in Nottingham, said: "I have spoken to eight or nine of these boys and they are fearful of their careers and going back into work having stood together and made these allegations and feeling like they have no support.

"We can all turn around and say 'well done' - the two guys have resigned and it is a better atmosphere. It isn't," he said.

Mr Adams was a youth team coach with the club's academy while Mr Broster is listed on the club website as a technical skills coach.

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