Burnley Football Club has rejected calls to rename a stand after a former Chairman who made an antisemitic remark in public.
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, pressuring the Club into potentially renaming the stand.
Burnley went on to launch a six-month-long investigation into the incident, which included consultations with Jewish representatives and advisers, but concluded that the Club did not need to take any further action.
A spokesperson for the Club said that Burnley had officially adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.
Burnley’s current Chairman, Alan Pace, said the Club would continue to take a “proactive stance against all forms of discrimination and hate crime. Adopting the IHRA definition in full is an important step going forwards and ultimately proves clarity across football on the language and actions of staff, players, supporters, and everyone associated with the game. As a custodian of Burnley, I strongly believe everyone should feel safe and welcome, whether watching or attending a football game.”
The original outcry over Bob Lord came 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.