Arsenal Women fined for discrimination after sacking former coach

Hegerberg labels women's soccer the 'weakest link' (1:58)

Ada Hegerberg speaks with ESPN about the financial support needed to keep women's clubs going. (1:58)

Arsenal Women have been fined £50,000 by the Football Association (FA) after being found guilty of discrimination against a former youth team coach in 2014.

An FA statement on Wednesday said the club had breached Rule E4 in dismissing under-15 head coach Robin Carpenter after he disclosed that he believed he was suffering from autism.

- ESPN+: Stream ESPN FC TV daily and 30 for 30: Soccer Stories

Arsenal Women denied the allegation but it was subsequently found proven by an independent Regulatory Commission which concluded that Arsenal "treated him less favourably than they would have treated an employee without disability."

Carpenter was paid £17,200 by the club in 2015 after a winning a case of unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.

As well as the FA fine, the club's staff members close to the case are required to undertake an education programme.

The Women's Super League season was ended this week because of the coronavirus pandemic and there are fears that some clubs could suffer financially as a result. The Commission, however, said that was not a reason to reduce the size of the fine.

"We accept the likelihood of a sharp economic downturn in the coming months but we are not persuaded on the available evidence that such a downturn will have such an impact on the club that it cannot pay an appropriate fine," it said.