Burnley Football Club are under pressure to rename a stand in their stadium that is currently named after a former chairman who is known to have made a public antisemitic remark.
The Bob Lord Stand is dedicated to the late local businessman who ran a chain of butcher shops before becoming Chairman of Burnley Football Club.
However, in 1974, Mr Lord spoke at a variety club dinner and said that “We have to stand up against a move to get soccer on the cheap by the Jews who run TV.”
This prompted many of the guests to leave the dinner early and a complaint from Bryan Cowgill, Head of BBC Television Sport, and his television counterpart, Bill Ward, to Sir Andrew Stephen, Chairman of the Football Association, and Len Shipman, President of the Football League,
Mr Lord later issued a partial apology, saying that: “If I have hurt anybody’s feelings. I apologise.”
However, the issue has recently come to light after some members of the Jewish community expressed their concerns.
Burnley Football Club has confirmed that it is launching an investigation into the matter and said: “Antisemitism continues to be a problem in the UK and in our society. Antisemitism must be understood for what it is – an attack on the identity of people who live, contribute, and are valued in our society. It is extremely important to Burnley Football Club to keep an open dialogue with the local and wider Jewish community, and we urge anyone who has experienced or been impacted by antisemitism in football to report it directly to Kick it Out using their online reporting form or via the dedicated Kick it Out reporting app.”
However, the Burnley Football Club Supporters Group appeared to offer a different view of Mr Lord’s remark, saying that “What Lord said was unpleasant, but it was one incident. He was rightly condemned at the time,” adding: “It was so long ago that many of our supporters don’t even remember Bob Lord who passed away in 1981.”
The outcry over Bob Lord comes less than a month after three Burnley supporters were arrested after video footage emerged of them appearing to perform Nazi salutes during the club’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues to act against instances of anti-Jewish racism in all sports.