‘White Lives’ banner flyover causes ‘heartbreak’ and ‘anger’ in Burnley


Burnley CEO ‘disgusted’ by the banner flown over the Etihad

“Frustration”, “heartbreak” and “anger” were some of the sentiments of those with a connection to Burnley a day after a ‘White Lives Matter Burnley’ banner was flown above the club’s players as they prepared to face Manchester City.

The 5-0 Premier League defeat at Etihad Stadium became a side issue as the focus turned to the words that trailed from the aeroplane.

Captain Ben Mee said he was “ashamed and embarrassed” and on Tuesday, Neil Hart, the club’s chief executive, said he was “disgusted” by the banner and the people who carried out the act.

He told BBC Sport: “We stand in solidarity with our players’ statement, stakeholders and management team, with our community and town. We will continue to be very strong in our condemnation of any form of discrimination.

“Disgusted is the word I’d use.”

When asked whether he saw Monday’s incident as a setback because of the Clarets’ work with the various communities of the town, Hart responded by stating it was “an opportunity”.

He added: “The battle is not won by banners, whether positive or negative. While it goes a long way with what the players are doing with the logos and Black Lives Matter on the backs of shirts, it is not won by that.

“It is won by doing work with communities, it is won by action and education. I still see this as an opportunity and will make it top priority.”

Later on Tuesday, Lancashire Police said that after assessing the information surrounding the incident, it concluded no criminal offences were committed.