Former Birmingham manager found guilty of homophobic abuse at WSL match

A former Birmingham manager found to have used homophobic language towards Tottenham manager Rehanne Skinner during a Women’s Super League match in February has been handed a seven-match touchline ban. Marcus Bignot, who was Birmingham’s assistant manager at the time of the February 13 incident, was charged with misconduct by the Football Association in March, which he denied.

The FA confirmed on Thursday that an independent regulatory commission had found the charge proven after a two-day hearing in May. Bignot was also ordered to attend an in-person education course.

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Birmingham said on Thursday that “they had now terminated their agreement and will no longer use his services.” He had been suspended by the club in March.

The commission found it proven that Bignot had told Skinner, after an incident in the 17th minute of the match: “Maybe if you had a little prick in you and in your life, then maybe you’d be better off for it and at the same time ”. your work.”

The FA’s position was that this comment was homophobic as it was aware of Skinner’s sexuality. This was denied by Bignot, who said that he was unaware of his sexuality even though Skinner’s partner was a former Birmingham player.

The commission determined that it was “not credible” that Bignot was unaware of Skinner’s sexuality. The commission heard from several witnesses to the incident among Tottenham staff, whom it found “credible, convincing and articulate” and dismissed a claim by Bignot’s legal team that they had colluded to frame him.

He decided that “on the balance of probabilities” Bignot had made the comment. The commission’s written reasons stated: “The regulatory commission is not concerned with the question of whether Mr. Bignot is homophobic, nor does it reach any conclusion on the matter.

“It was discovered that he made a comment that was obviously homophobic and totally unacceptable. It is particularly important that homophobic comments, such as those made by Mr. Bignot, are severely punished.”

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The commission was told that Bignot had lost his job at Birmingham due to the case and had been suspended from his role as manager of the England Under-19s.

Birmingham said: “Birmingham City Women can confirm that Marcus Bignot has left the football club. This follows the outcome of an investigation carried out by the Football Association in relation to an FA E3 Rule breach following our Barclays FA Women’s Super League match against Tottenham Hotspur Women on Sunday 13 February.”

They said the club “strongly condemns any form of homophobic abuse and reiterates our aim to confront and eliminate any form of discrimination”.

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