Gray receives four-game ban

Andre Gray

Andre Gray

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Clarets striker Andre Gray has received a four-game ban following an FA hearing into misconduct charges.

Gray was found guilty of six aggravated breaches of FA Rule E3(1) regarding comments deemed to be "abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or bringing the game into disrepute".

The breaches also included reference to an “aggravating factor”, namely, sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3(2).

Gray admitted three of the breaches, but denied a further three. However, following the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, on Thursday, September 22, these three were found proven.

In addition to the ban, effective immediately, Gray was fined £25,000 plus costs, warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend a one-to-one FA education course.

The suspension means that Gray will miss Monday’s Premier League game against Watford at Turf Moor, followed by the games against Arsenal and Everton at home, and Southampton away.

Burnley Football Club and Gray accept the Independent Regulatory Commission’s decision, which relate to historical posts made before Andre joined the club in August, 2015.

Gray himself regrets the posts and has pledged, in an apology, to continue to improve, both as a person and role model to others.

Burnley Football Club takes its responsibility in the wider community seriously, and through its charitable arm, Burnley FC in the Community, will be investing close to £2m in community work over the forthcoming season.

The club work closely with all of our players, including Gray, on a wide-ranging variety of community programmes and undertook 300 player appearances last season, which they will be looking to increase in the coming 12 months.

There will be no appeal over Gray's punishment, rather than run the risk of an extended ban, based on some of the more severe breaches.

Historically, Rio Ferdinand was found guilty of improper conduct and fined £45,000 by the Football Association for a tweet describing Chelsea's Ashley Cole as a "choc ice".

Fulham midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe got a two-game ban from the FA after posting a tweet aimed at Patrick Bamford, currently on loan at Burnley, saying "Happy that Middlesbrough didn’t go up, just for the main fact that @Patrick_Bamford is a sausage boy.”

Tunnicliffe was accused of ‘aggravated misconduct by reference to sexual orientation'.

And in June, Coventry City defender Chris Stokes received a one-match FA ban for making a homophobic comment on Twitter during Chelsea’s Premier League match with Spurs. He admitted breaching FA rules relating to the use of social media and, in addition to the ban, was ordered to attend an FA education course, fined £1,000 and warned as to his future conduct.