FA investigating homophobic slur accusation as part of 'hostile' Rochdale takeover

·2-min read
Rochdale's stadium.
Rochdale's stadium.

A self-confessed “hostile takeover” of Rochdale has sparked a homophobia row after one of those involved was accused of calling the current board “Nancy boys”.

Andy Curran, part of a takeover bid by Morton House MGT and First Form Construction Ltd, was also alleged to have called the people of the town “small minded” and to have “expressed a desire to settle any dispute with a physical fight in a boxing ring”.

The slurs were said to have been made during a Zoom call last Tuesday between the English Football League (EFL) and those trying to buy the League Two club.

Dale Supporters Trust published the comments on their official website on Thursday, which were later alleged to Telegraph Sport to have been made by Curran.

Rochdale chairman Simon Gauge, who was on last Tuesday’s call, confirmed the club had “lodged a complaint” with the Football Association about “discriminatory and threatening comments made” during what was an initial interview conducted by the EFL as part of its owners’ and directors’ test.

Telegraph Sport has been told the FA is investigating.

Curran did not respond to requests for comment after the claims against him were put to him via text message.

That followed a bizarre phone call with Telegraph Sport in which he said he had “nothing to do with Rochdale”.

The call nevertheless prompted a WhatsApp message from Alexander Jarvis, who described himself as an adviser to what he admitted was a “hostile takeover” and said that Curran was “a bit of a recluse”.

Jarvis said he himself had been on the “heated” Zoom call and that he could not recall the alleged comments being made by Curran, adding: “I don’t think, if he did say it, that he meant it in the way that it would be perceived.”

Jarvis said he was “waiting for a call from the FA” about Rochdale’s complaint, which could see it take action if Curran was deemed a participant in football.

The EFL said: “Any allegations in relation to discriminatory comments are matters for the Football Association which can investigate any individual who is subject to the FA rules at the time the comments were allegedly made.”

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