Quakers boss Gray laying down the law after social media fallout

The Northern Echo: Martin Gray, right Martin Gray, right

DARLINGTON manager Martin Gray has promised to sack any player caught breaking the club's new code of conduct.

In light of two of his players, Gary Brown and Stephen Thompson, being reported to the Durham County FA this week, he has taken a firm stance.

"We had a big meeting with the players on Wednesday and told them that they're banned from talking about other clubs and other clubs' players on social media," said Gray.

"If any player chooses to do it they will lose a week's wages, if they do it a second time they will be sacked.

"There's no room for it, it's a load of rubbish, all of it."

Darlington announced yesterday that all of their coaching staff, players and directors have agreed to abide by new social media practices.

A statement read: "The football club's staff and directors are aware of the public facing nature of social media and will not conduct business via or make football related comments that use foul or abusive language directly, or by insinuation, or that can be construed as being offensive in any way, racist, political, inflammatory or intimidating."

As well as cutting out abuse on Facebook and Twitter, chairman Denis Pinnegar is keen to eradicate offensive language at matches too.

He said: "We are very proud of the family and community status of Darlington FC and we must ensure that this kind of behaviour is eradicated from our matches and any social media connected with the club.

"Our current strategy specifically states that we aim to promote the club as a successful and family friendly club. We are firmly committed to ensuring that unacceptable behaviour is simply not tolerated by the club and its fans."

Brown and Thompson were reported by a West Auckland club official following their fractious game with Quakers last weekend.

The day after the game, which West won 2-1, West's Paul Garthwaite was reported to the Durham FA after offensive comments appeared on his Twitter timeline.

"There was too much off-the-field activity, but it worked for them because they got the win," added Gray, whose team are at Celtic Nation tomorrow.

"Each club conducts itself how it feels is best. We're Darlington Football Club and we'll do things right on and off the pitch, I'll never waiver from that."

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