One of Manchester United's European scouts, Torben Aakjaer, was yesterday fired by the club after an investigation into racially offensive comments made on his personal Facebook page. The investigation, which was prompted by evidence handed over by the Guardian, was led by Ed Woodward, concerned numerous insulting references to Islam and immigrants from eastern Europe, such as the following:
You must be too integrated in the red Copenhagen mafia if you don't think all that eastern Europe dirt and shit needs a kick in the behind over the border. Yes, in cases like this I do generalise. This is not a hard-working Polish guy on a building site or a Czech taxi driver. This is hardcore gypsies from Romania, Bulgaria etc.
United's statement on his dismissal reads as follows:
The club received the evidence from the Guardian, launched an immediate investigation into the matter and has terminated our association with Mr Aakjaer. Manchester United is an inclusive organisation and will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.
Aakjaer had worked for United on a casual basis since 2011 and whose Facebook account also includes pictures taken with a number of United players. According to the Guardian, he:
confirmed it is his account and that some of the comments are accurate but denied using any racist or aggressive terms, in particular "dirt and shit" when referring to eastern Europeans, and claimed he might have been hacked by "someone who doesn't like me or Manchester United".
Ah, the old Garry Cook defence. Didn't work then; hasn't worked now. Ta-ra, Mr Aakjaer.