Peter Beardsley: Newcastle U23s coach takes leave after racism allegations

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Beardsley leaves St James' Park

Newcastle Under-23s coach Peter Beardsley will take a period of leave while the club investigates allegations of racism and bullying made against him.

It comes after Beardsley had discussions with the club on Tuesday.

The 56-year-old former Magpies player, who has been in his current role since 2009, faces multiple complaints.

One of the complaints of bullying has been made by 22-year-old academy midfielder Yasin Ben El-Mhanni.

In a statement, Beardsley's solicitors said: "Peter Beardsley is aware of inaccurate media reports which result from unauthorised leaks.

"Allegations of unfair treatment have been made, which are currently being investigated. Peter Beardsley categorically denies the allegations.

"It is hoped the investigation will conclude quickly.

"Peter Beardsley will not be making any further comment at the present time and until investigations conclude. Peter respectfully requests that his privacy and that of his family is respected."

A club statement said: "After discussions with Peter Beardsley this morning it has been agreed that he will take a period of leave, to commence immediately, whilst the club conducts its investigation into allegations made against him."

Beardsley made more than 300 appearances for his hometown club during a career that also included spells at Liverpool and Everton.

He was offered a coaching role on Tyneside following his retirement, but in 2003 he and academy director Kenny Wharton faced a Premier League inquiry over allegations of bullying made by youth players James Beaumont and Ross Gardner. The case was dismissed.

He returned in an ambassadorial role following Mike Ashley's takeover at St James' Park before being appointed as an academy coach again.

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