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600 Dinner Guests Walk out on Anti-semitic Speech

March 7, 1974
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There was an uproar and many of the 600 guests walked out of a dinner meeting here last night of the local branch of the Variety Club when the guest of honor. Bob Lord, chairman of the famous first division Burnley (Lancashire) Football Club and a local butcher, said in his speech; “We have to stand up against a move to get soccer on the cheap by the Jews who run TV.” Lord, a campaigner for bigger royalties for football clubs whose games are televised, said later, “If I have hurt anybody’s feelings. I apologize.”

Bryan Cowgill, head of BBC Television Sport, and his independent television counterpart, Bill Ward, sent a joint telegram of protest to Sir Andrew Stephen, chairman of the Football Association, and Len Shipman, president of the Football League, urging them to repudiate Lord’s remarks as “not being in the interests of football or honorable behavior.” They described Lord’s remarks as “abhorrent and obscene.”

Councillor Cyril Carr, immediate past chairman of the Liberal Party and member of the Liverpool Municipal Council was among the guests who walked out. He said “It was offensive and distasteful.” Film director Michael Samuelson, chairman of the Variety Club of Great Britain, said, “Actually, none of the BBC executives who negotiate these things is Jewish, anyway. The same goes for independent television.”

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