KICK IT OUT chairman Lord Ouseley has put football in the dock by accusing the game of hiding racism and bullying across the board.
Newcastle are investigating development coach Peter Beardsley while three former Chelsea youth team players have started legal proceedings against the club after accusing former coaches Graham Rix and Gwyn Williams of racism.
Ouseley insists these incidents that have now been made public are not uncommon and there could plenty more to come.
He told the Daily Mirror: “The fact is that a lot of people who make complaints still feel let down.
“It is a tip of the iceberg, It just tells you what a lot of people have gone through over the years which we know they have gone through, across the entirety of football.
“It is very difficult to comment on individual cases once a process is in place.
“But, in general, there is a problem with the way that inquiries are conducted, support given to complainants.”
The FA are closely watching the Beardsley case with Newcastle undertaking their own investigations with the former England international denying the allegations.
But Ouseley has revealed Kick It Out are getting reports of cases in which players are suffering and too scared to speak out.
He added: “There is a fear factor with professional football which has existed in the dressing room and on the training ground.
“Certainly anyone with aspirations as a black person to play professional football has kept their heads down and tried to avoid taking on the established status quo of challenging the coach, the trainer or the football manager.
“They have not gone outside of that arena to try and get redress because where they have and where they know of anyone challenging, they have had their heads chopped off, that has been the death of their careers.
“That fear has not gone away, even though it is reasonable to say that we have made progress.
“There are still people who will be looking for help and can’t get it, they don’t know where to go even though we have made great inroads in telling people to come to us and we will help.
"So people still suffer in silence, that is a tragedy.”
Chelsea have launched their own inquiry into claims from their former youth teamers of bullying and racism.
Lord Ouseley continued: “Casual racism has never gone away. It has always been there. We have evidence at Kick It Out about cases that are happening at grass roots level.
“There has been this institutionalised acceptance of the culture of racism and sexism.
“It is an integral part of football culture and that still hasn’t been broken altogether.
“Certainly not the covert form of discrimination, it still exists.”
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