Gillingham to appeal Mark McCammon racism case verdict

We're not racist! Gills vow to launch appeal after race row defeat to McCammon

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UPDATED:

10:15 GMT, 31 July 2012

Victory: Mark McCammon during his Gillingham stint

Victory: Mark McCammon during his Gillingham stint

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally has insisted the club are not racist and revealed they will appeal the decision of an employment tribunal which found them guilty of victimising sacked striker Mark McCammon.

The former Barbados international took legal action against the League Two side after being dismissed for alleged misconduct last year.

The 6ft 2in striker told a hearing in Ashford, Kent, that he and other black players at the club were treated differently from white players.

However, speaking to the Mirror newspaper, Scally promised to contest the ruling. He said: 'People can see for themselves in our statement that we are staggered by the ruling and we will fight it.

'I feel hurt for the club and hurt for the fans. There is no way we would do something like that.'

McCammon said he was ordered to come into the ground amid 'treacherous', snowy driving conditions while some white players were told they were not required.

He also said the club tried to 'frustrate him out' by refusing to pay private medical bills to help him regain his fitness following injury.

Instead, he claims he was offered the
same operation on the NHS rather than privately, a move he described as
'completely out of character' for a Football League club, and that he
was fined two weeks' wages when he paid a visit to a private consultant.

Defeat: Gillingham owner and chairman Paul Scally

Defeat: Gillingham owner and chairman Paul Scally

In contrast, the former Charlton,
Swindon, Millwall and Brighton player said, a white team-mate was flown
to Dubai for treatment by an eminent physiotherapist at the club's
expense.

After the ruling, the club also said
in a statement: 'Today we have received the decision of the Ashford
Employment Tribunal which sets out their findings that Mark McCammon was
unfairly dismissed and that his dismissal was an act of racial
victimisation.

'We are hugely disappointed, in fact
staggered, by this decision. As an organisation we are an equal
opportunity employer and do not discriminate against, nor victimise our
staff.

'This case is the first of its kind
to be brought against the club in its entire history, a history that has
seen the club employ many thousands of staff of various race, religion
and creed, none of whom have ever felt the need to bring such a claim.

'Given the nature of the case, and
the findings, we will discuss the judgment with our lawyers and decide
upon the next course of action, whether that be an appeal against the
findings, or another form of action, as deemed appropriate.'