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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Goodison Park

Everton bans The Sun from its stadium following controversial Kelvin MacKenzie column

The column by MacKenzie discussing Everton player Ross Barkley in derogatory fashion has caused outrage.

Goodison Park Redevelopment Nick Potts Goodison Park Nick Potts

EVERTON FOOTBALL CLUB has banned The Sun newspaper from its stadium, Goodison Park, on foot of a controversial article by columnist Kelvin MacKenzie regarding the club’s 23-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley.

The Liverpool club has also banned the newspaper from its Finch Farm training complex and all other areas of its operation.

The paper caused outrage yesterday after publishing a column by MacKenzie (himself a former editor of The Sun) in which Barkley, who was punched in a nightclub altercation last week, was described as “thick” and compared to a gorilla.

Barkley is of Nigerian descent.

“Yesterday Everton Football Club informed The Sun newspaper it was banned from Goodison Park, the USM Finch Farm training ground and all areas of the Club’s operation,” Everton said in a statement.

Whilst we will not dignify any journalist with a response to appalling and indefensible allegations, the newspaper has to know that an attack on this City, either against a much respected community or individual, is not acceptable.

The Sun yesterday suspended MacKenzie, who is rumoured to earn £300,000 per year for his column, and apologised for offence caused and said it was “unaware of Ross Barkley’s heritage”. It also said the views expressed by the columnist about the people of Liverpool, were “wrong, unfunny and are not the view of the paper”.

It said that MacKenzie is currently on holiday but that the matter would be fully investigated on his return.

Kelvin MacKenzie suspended PA Wire / PA Images Kelvin MacKenzie PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Today is the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool supporters at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in Sheffield.

MacKenzie, who was then editor of The Sun, drew intense criticism for publishing a front page in the paper, billed The Truth, which claimed that Liverpool fans had behaved in a dreadful manner during and in the aftermath of that tragedy.

The Sun was later forced to apologise for that edition, and admit that the accusations it had made were baseless.

Read: Two men charged in connection with the death of Irishman Dylan Crawford

Read: ‘Walking out at the Maracana brought a tear to me eye. I never had those moments with GB’

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