BBC Sport’s live coverage of Sunday’s FA Cup Fourth Round clash between Wrexham and Sheffield United accidentally showed a fan holding a poster stating: “F*** the Tories”.
The message was displayed under a flap of a fan in the home end holding a placard in the shape of the FA Cup trophy. Three months previously, Wrexham did not allow their striker Paul Mullin to wear his custom-made “f*** the Tories” boots.
The 27-year-old revealed the anti-Conservative party boots on social media with pictures taken at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground; the club are owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. The duo said at the time that the photos were taken without their knowledge or permission.
BBC’s live coverage of the Conference side’s clash against Championship high-fliers Sheffield United showed the anti-Conservative message in the 27th minute. The message appeared briefly before the cameras swiftly switched their focus elsewhere.
It was a sentiment that would not be met with either the knowledge or approval by the broadcaster, but the message was not limited to the one fan displaying the message. Chants of “f*** the Tories” were widespread throughout the ground during the encounter.
The message came just months after the club’s striker Mullin – a native of the city of Liverpool, which is less than an hour’s drive from Wrexham – displayed the same sentiment on his boots. Wrexham moved to condemn the striker’s message as the club claimed they take a neutral stance when it comes to politics.
A statement read: “The club can confirm that the boots revealed by Paul Mullin on social media will not be worn tonight, or in any other Wrexham AFC fixture and that the photographs taken at the Racecourse Ground were done so without our knowledge or approval.
“For the record, the pictures wouldn’t have been permitted to be taken, had we known, and the issue will be dealt with privately by the club. The club has adopted a neutral position on many matters with a political dimension and intends to continue to do so going forward.
“The club also acknowledge that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, whether that be employees or supporters but would also highlight that an individual view cannot be fairly attributed, as the view of everyone or the club itself. There is no more prominent example of this than the fact that the MP for the constituency within which the club is found, is a Conservative seat.
“After this unwelcome distraction, the club hopes the focus remains on our objectives of gaining promotion on the field and creating community benefit off it, in which Paul Mullin will continue to play a significant part.”