Peterborough United chairman’s fury at Clarke-Harris ban, but he’s told the player to use his time off to improve his fitness and form

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony was ‘furious’ to see striker Jonson Clarke-Harris banned for four matches for posting an abusive historical tweet by an FA disciplinary panel.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:44 am
Darragh MacAnthony and Jonson Clarke-Harris celebrate promotion from League One together last season.

Posh originally appealed against the length of the ban issued by the FA, but have now accepted it after taking legel advice.

Clarke-Harris, who made the comments in 2012 & 2013 when aged 18, sat out last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Bristol City and will also miss the Championship games at Middlesbrough and Hull as well as a home game against QPR.

MacAnthony has urged Clarke-Harris, who was also fined £5,200, to work on his form and fitness while he is banned. The 27 year-old has scored just two penalties so far this season.

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“I was furious when I discovered the length of the ban,” MacAnthony said on his popular Hard Truth podcast. “Should we really be punishing players for stupid things they said a decade ago when they were teenagers? That doesn’t sit well with me. There is no condoning what was said. It was a derogatory word he used and he shouldn’t have said it, but the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

“Jonson apologised, but he got the same ban as a player who tweeted about killing gay people and a longer ban than a player who used a highly offensive racist word. I was expecting a one-game ban with perhaps three matches suspended, but four games and a big fine? That doesn’t seem right.

“I would love to see someone find out what the people who make these draconian rules were saying when they were teenagers. I bet they said some stupid things in the past. I know I did, but people mature. There are serious crimes people commit in the United States that can’t be punished seven years after the crime.

“The person who went trawling through social media to find the comments must have a very sad life.

“We could have dragged the appeal out for a month, but the manager quite rightly wanted it out of the way so it’s time for Jonson to now use his time off and get into the best physical life of his career.

“He was brilliant for us in our promotion season, but this is the biggest season of his career and he didn’t come into it in the best shape.

“He must also go away and work on his hold-up play as there’s a great player in there.”