Leyton Orient caretaker manager Ross Embleton has accused Forest Green Rovers boss Mark Cooper of making an “unacceptable” comment which related to Justin Edinburgh whilst having an argument on the touchline.
He claimed Cooper had called him “an impostor” and asked: “Who do you think you are, Justin Edinburgh?”. Embleton was sent to the stands in the first half of his side’s 4-2 defeat to Forest Green after throwing his chewing gum at Cooper.
Disgraceful manager Mark Cooper told Ross Embleton he was an imposter for Justin Edinburgh. Ross threw his chewing gum at him in response and was sent off. Cooper should have been red carded. pic.twitter.com/8DlFbIBBA3
— John Walker Football Commentator (@jwalkerloughton) November 23, 2019
Forest Green released a statement firmly denying the accusation about Edinburgh, who sadly died aged 49 after suffering a cardiac arrest in June.
Embleton told the club’s Twitter: “I got told I was an imposter in terms of being in and around the environment I am in. But it’s great because I have spent most of my life being an imposter. I didn’t play football or have a football career and I’ve worked extremely hard to get myself to where I am and where I’ve been in my coaching career.
“It’s a thing that’s been thrown at me quite regularly, which doesn’t affect me anymore as I quite like it, it’s my thing. A lot of people don’t know my name and don’t know who I am. So, I can accept that bit.
“But to follow that up with ‘who do you think you are, Justin Edinburgh?’ is something I will never accept.
“I have to apologise to everyone associated with the club – the fans, the players – for getting sent off because it obviously has an effect on the team and it shows a lack of discipline which I would never want my players to show.”
“However, at the same time, if there is anyone out there who ever wants to try and get me sent off again, use that phrase. That is totally unacceptable. I knew of Mark Cooper’s behaviour at times and the way in which he approaches different people and today’s shown me what he’s all about.
“I got sent off for throwing my chewing gum at him and ultimately that is what I deserve. However, it was either that or do something a lot more aggressive which would have been even more naive of me and I would probably spend a lot more time in the stands than perhaps I’m going to.
“It was the best way for me to deal with it right at that moment in time. My blood is still boiling.”
Leyton Orient boss Ross Embleton has called Forest Green's Mark Cooper's "unacceptable" after Cooper allegedly made comments about the late Justin Edinburgh.
Edinburgh was Orient's manager until he died in June of this year, aged 49.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 23, 2019
Forest Green chairman Dale Vince tweeted a statement which said: “Mark denies saying this or anything like it, he and Justin were close friends.
“The referee and the fourth official have both confirmed this evening that they heard nothing said and the fact is that Leyton’s manager was sent off for throwing something at our bench after the first goal was scored.
“Their manager has to look at himself for the reason for his behaviour.”
A Forest Green statement added: “Forest Green Rovers are aware of the serious allegations made on social media and in the post-match interviews regarding comments reported to be made by our manager during today’s game.
“The club firmly denies these accusations and will cooperate fully with Leyton Orient in any investigation that may come in the wake of the game.
“Justin was a close friend of the manager and deserves the utmost respect.”
Cooper had initially played down the incident: “There was nothing in it really.
“There had been a little bit of verbal towards Ebou Adams from the technical area and when he scored, I responded by celebrating, I clenched my fist and said ‘Get in there’. From there, something was thrown and that was it.”
After finding out about Leyton Orient boss Ross Embleton accusing Mark Cooper of making ‘unacceptable’ comment about Justin Edinburgh, fans took to slam the Forest Green boss with some calling for him to be sacked – see those tweets on the next page.