The Manchester City fan who has been accused of racism during the Manchester derby has been suspended by his employer.
Anthony Burke, 41, was caught on Sky Sports footage, which was widely circulated on social media, appearing to do a monkey gesture in the direction of Manchester United stars Fred and Jesse Lingard.
Burke, an army veteran, works as a civil engineering manager at Kier Group – who describe themselves as “a leading UK construction and infrastructure services company.”
But after the incident, which saw Burke arrested by Greater Manchester Police, the company has announced that he has been suspended pending an investigation.
The employers wrote on Twitter : “Kier has a zero tolerance policy towards any racist and discriminatory behaviour. We can confirm an employee has been suspended pending an investigation.”
Burke insists he is not racist and posted a message on his Facebook page explained the “truth” behind his gesture.
He wrote: “Listen, I’m only racist c*** because I had a screen shot that made me look it.
“However I ain’t racist, watch the match half of it was me with me putting my hands in my pants.
“Bullsh** not ar*** I know the true and I’ve already made appointment to speak to the police which I did so think what you like.”
City vowed to ban any supporter found guilty of racist abuse for life immediately after the final whistle of their 2-1 defeat to rivals United.
” Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures during the second half of the match against Manchester United this evening,” the club said.
“Officials from the club are working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries.
“The club are also working with GMP regarding an instance of objects being thrown onto the field of play.
“The club operates a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life.”
Burke’s ex, Amy, claims she has had death threats following the footage, and said the incident was ‘not like’ her former partner.
She told the Daily Mail: “He is with the police – he has been arrested.
“He was arrested this morning. He doesn’t live with me. It’s horrible – I have had death threats and my kids.
“I have been in tears. I am really surprised – this is not like him – his family are black. I keep watching the footage back and I can’t say whether he’s done it or not. Has he done it or hasn’t he done it?
“I just can’t say and I haven’t spoken to him. It’s amazing how you can get famous for the wrong thing.”