Newcastle United legend Peter Beardsley takes "period of leave" while bullying and racism inquiry continues
Newcastle United legend and current under-23s coach Peter Beardsley is to take a period of leave while the club conducts an investigation into allegations of bullying and racism made against him.
The move was confirmed in a statement issued by the Magpies on Tuesday afternoon.
It said: "After discussions with Peter Beardsley this morning, it has been agreed that he will take a period of leave, to commence immediately, whilst the club conducts its investigation into allegations made against him.
"It would be inappropriate for the club to comment further until the conclusion of this investigation."
Beardsley was questioned about the allegations during a lengthy meeting with managing director Lee Charnley and head of safeguarding Steve Swinyard on Monday and the complainants are due to give their evidence later this week.
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He is believed to have reported for work at the club's Benton training headquarters as usual on Tuesday morning before he was then summoned to St James's Park.
The Magpies confirmed at the weekend that they had launched an investigation after a formal complaint of bullying was made by 22-year-old midfielder Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, backed by several team-mates.
It later emerged that accusations had also been made by other players.
Beardsley, who made more than 300 appearances for Newcastle in two spells as a player and also played for Hartlepool United, is currently in his second period as an Academy coach with the club.
In 2003, he and Academy director Kenny Wharton were cleared of bullying by a Premier League inquiry.