The 13-year-old that has been banned by Millwall Football Club "for the foreseeable future" has admitted to verbally abusing Bolton Wanderers player Marvin Sordell.
Despite saying that he has verbally abused Sordell, he maintains his innocence on the racial front. The statement that Millwall, the FA, and Bolton released following the incident said that the club offered to put the boy "through one of our education programmes, run by Millwall for All (formerly the Millwall Anti-Racism Trust) in the hope that we can change his outlook on equality, racism and life in general." This part of the statement led many to assume that the boy had in fact been found guilty of hurling racist insults at the young Bolton man.
As part of their bid to get closer their fanbase, Millwall have a fan-elected member on their Board of Directors. This fan/board member, Peter Garston, has come out on a Millwall forum to discuss the allegations brought against his club:
"The club have investigated the claims and there were no witnesses to substantiate the claims of racial abuse.
"The club then checked the CCTV and saw an incident between M Sordell and a 13 year old boy, there was no audio evidence.
"The boy was interviewed (with a parent) by the club at which time the boy admitted to verbally abusing M Sordell, the boy also said that M Sordell reacted with abuse back.
"The boy wrote to M Sordell and apologised for the abuse and Sordell accepted the apology."
Garston went on to say that the boy will see out the punishment handed to him by the club but hopes to see a statement further clarifying the situation.
"It was seen by the club in the control room and it was decided to take no action.
The police took the decision to go in and make arrests not the club.
"I have been speaking to the club over the last couple of days regards both issues and I am confident that no further action will be taken by the club (i.e. banning).
"As for the police that it out of my hands. I also understand the FA will take no further action. If the banner wouldn't have had the word "C***" on it I am pretty sure there would have been no issue."
We await further clarification on both issues. Garston's full statement can be seen on the Millwall Maniacs forum, here.