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Volume 7 No. 149

Franchises

West Ham supsended Mark Phillips last month over his social media posts.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Premier League side West Ham United will have to reinstate U18 coach Mark Phillips "as there are not sufficient grounds to dismiss him for his social media posts" about attending a march organized by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, which has been criticized by anti-racism groups, according to Gary Jacob of the LONDON TIMES. Phillips was suspended from his post last month and the east London club conducted an internal investigation, led by a senior member of staff, which included consulting with an employment lawyer. The investigation found that Phillips "breached West Ham's social media policy and brought the club into disrepute" but there are "not sufficient grounds to sack him." Phillips, 58, was given a written final warning about his future behavior. It has not been decided when he will return to his role as joint coach of the club's U18 team alongside former player Jack Collison. He will attend anti-discriminatory courses, "although that is as a matter of course and is not related to his warning." Phillips made a series of comments on social media in relation to the march in London, which "descended into violence" after anti-racist campaigners tried to block the group's route from Park Lane to Whitehall. Phillips' comments led to anti-discrimination body Kick It Out receiving an anonymous complaint (LONDON TIMES, 11/12).