John Yems says ‘if anybody needs an apology I do’ in ‘car crash’ interview

Disgraced football manager John Yems has brazenly said that he should be the one receiving an apology after being banned for making a series of vile racist slurs.

Former Crawley Town boss Yems has been banned until June of 2024 by the FA but a report – which was completed by an independent panel, not the FA – concluded he was not a 'conscious racist' despite using discriminatory language.

With The FA since releasing a statement saying they fundamentally disagree with the independent panel's findings – and are now looking at legal options having pushed for a longer ban, the former Football League boss spoke to talkSPORT to tell his side of the story.

READ MORE: FA consider legal options after 'fundamentally disagreeing' with panel's John Yems report

As part of an interview with Jim White, Yems started off by saying: "It's a very very strange part of my life, the last nine months."

He added: "I couldn't disagree with the panel's decision. It's not a court of law that's the first thing people keep telling me. There's nothing… I haven't broke any laws. It's FA rules. It's like getting thrown out of one pub and another pub letting you in there. Simple as that."

He continued: "At the end of it, the panel in it's wisdom decided to find me not racist, didn't use racist language with intent and I was honest all through my statements, my trial.

"When you see the charges and the way that they have been portrayed and they're all written down together it looks like, you know, I'm one of the great train robbers or something.

"It's really really annoying and frustrating that people don't know the stories behind the whole trial not just the end product of it."

Yems went on to say that he was doorstepped for two days and that his wife was followed to work, with people phoning him telling him they were going to 'do this and do that' to him.

He added: "(It was) all over a charge that I segregated changing rooms, segregated pitches, didn't pick black players because they was black, didn't do this, didn't do that – and I'm thinking 'what's going on'.

"One minute there I am at Mansfield we was outside the playoffs, the players in the side we're all going 'what's happening here, segregated?' And guess what, they dropped all them charges, they dropped the charges about me not picking black players, they dropped the charges about me segregating changing rooms, and that never gets a mention."

The report said that Yems used Arnold Schwarzenegger's name to emphasise the N-word and was also found to have called black players "Zulu warriors" and described Muslim members of the team as "terrorists". Yems also called one player a "curry muncher".

With White asking Yems if he accepted that he had done something wrong, particularly in terms of language, after he said he felt very offended being called racist, Yems said: "No. The thing that I have done wrong has been highlighted to me and it's shown me now that there is certain things that you can't say and do.

"Well so be it, if that's the rules now and if that's what we're supposed to do then let people know. But to me it's the intent in what things have said. I haven't purposely gone out there individually to say to somebody X, Y, Z purely on the colour of their skin."

Yems then denied calling black players Zulu warriors as well as 'a lot of the things that he had been charged with', saying he was never approached about the comments until they appeared in the news, after which he was sent home by Crawley.

When asked if he had a message to send, or if he wanted to apologise, Yems said: "People are out there are gonna say what they're gonna say. People are out there are gonna think what they're gonna think.

"I am only saying to you, have a look, I wasn't found to be racist, I never used racist language with intent – if anybody needs an apology I think I do. The amount, the abuse and everything that I've been getting when people haven't even had the courtesy to ask me.

"I don't think nobody has even looked at the case with any open mindedness. I think if you go in there there's a few apologies that should be coming my way."

Following the interview, talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook described it as a 'car crash'.

After Kick It Out among others slammed the report of the independent panel, The FA clarified their stance with a statement.

An FA spokesperson said: "The FA brought 16 charges of discrimination against John Yems. The independent regulatory commission decided on an 18-month ban for the 12 charges which it upheld or was admitted. We had requested a longer ban.

"Based on the evidence presented to the commission, we fundamentally disagree with the independent panel’s finding that this was not a case of conscious racism. As a result, we are considering our legal options."

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