West Ham have sacked their director of player recruitment Tony Henry, after leaked emails showed that he had told agents that the club were not looking to sign any more 'African players' on the basis of their heritage.
When confronted with his remarks to agents, Henry claimed that he believed African players 'caused mayhem' at the club when not picked, citing 'attitude problems' of Diafra Sakho.
A club statement released on Friday evening read: "West Ham United have today terminated the contract of Director of Player Recruitment, Tony Henry, with immediate effect following his unacceptable comments that were widely reported in the press.
"Our action follows a full and thorough investigation. West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination. The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included."
Henry had told the Mail: "It’s nothing racist at all. It’s just sometimes they can have a bad attitude. We had problems with Sakho, with Diafra Sakho. We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem. It’s nothing against the African race at all."
Lord Ouseley, chairperson of anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out, said of Henry's original email: "From my point of view, firstly, that is clearly unacceptable now in football. But secondly it’s unlawful to make a statement like that.
"It’s clearly discriminatory but giving instruction to someone to discriminate against a person is unlawful. Kick It Out would not expect this from any football club official and I would expect that club to take the necessary action."