Sacked Birmingham City Women coach handed seven-match ban for homophobic slur

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Sacked Birmingham City Women coach handed seven-match ban for homophobic slur - GETTY IMAGES
Sacked Birmingham City Women coach handed seven-match ban for homophobic slur - GETTY IMAGES

Birmingham City Women on Thursday announced Marcus Bignot had been sacked after he was banned from the touchline for seven matches for aiming a homophobic slur at former England Women assistant manager Rehanne Skinner.

The club revealed they had “terminated his agreement” after he was handed one of the longest suspensions in Women’s Super League history for telling openly-gay Tottenham Hotspur manager Skinner: “Maybe if you had a bit of p---k in you and in your life then maybe you’d be better for it and at your job.”

Bigot, who previously worked with the England Under-19 men’s team, was also ordered to attend a mandatory face-to-face education programme.

The former Queens Park Rangers defender was charged in March by the Football Association with making the comment after Skinner told him, “F--- off Marcus, you’re a p---k and you always have been”, in a row over time wasting during Birmingham’s WSL defeat to Spurs the previous month.

Bignot denied doing so or having known Skinner was gay, despite her being married to a player from his time at Birmingham and in defiance of claims he had previously asked about her partner at an event a couple of years earlier.

An independent regulatory commission found him guilty both of making the comment and of being fully aware of Skinner’s sexual orientation.

The regulatory commission’s written reasons for its verdict read: “The regulatory commission are not concerned with the question whether Mr Bignot is homophobic, nor does it make any finding of such. He has been found to have made a comment which was obviously homophobic and wholly unacceptable. It is particularly important that homophobic comment, the kind made by Mr Bignot, is punished severely.”

The commission heard Bignot had been suspended and subsequently lost his position with Birmingham due to the case, which also brought a premature end to his place on the FA’s elite coach placement programme that had seen him work with the England Under-19 men’s team.

Confirming his departure on Thursday, Birmingham said: “We strongly condemn any form of homophobic abuse and reiterate our aim to confront and eliminate any form of discrimination.”

Skinner was previously head coach of the England Under-19 and Under-21 women’s teams before briefly becoming assistant manager of the senior team under Phil Neville.

She quit in November 2020 to take the Spurs job.

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