Francis Jeffers appeared in court today and was fined for a malicious communications offence. It relates to "vile messages" of a threatening nature sent to his estranged wife. He's also received a Restraining Order.

He's a member of Everton U23s' coaching staff. Everton are a family club and have been campaigning to raise awareness of Domestic Abuse. It remains to be seen if Jeffers will keep his job or Everton will take a zero tolerance policy to his actions.

The sentence imposed by the court is at the bottom end of the range of sentencing so it is not a particularly serious offence by any stretch of the imagination. It will be a tricky decision for the club and one I expect Denise Barrett-Baxendale to make.

Reader Comments (18)

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Kieran Kinsella
1 Posted 30/10/2019 at 14:16:08

I always think this kind of thing is tricky. The law courts handle criminal complaints and issue penalties. Do we as a broader society have the right to then add on our own penalties?

If he were a plumber, would he lose his job and his ability to work based on an offence? If so, are we saying there is no criminal justice reform so ex-cons are to be like Jean Val-Jean and wander from town to town as outcasts from society?

It is clearly embarrassing for the club, but surely the man has a right to continue to earn money and continue his career. I would think, some kind of public penance, counseling, making him help out at abuse victims clinics or something would be a better way to go than just sacking him.

Steve Hogan
2 Posted 30/10/2019 at 16:40:47
He'll be offered counselling, it's the 'Everton Way', stop tittering at the back.
Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 30/10/2019 at 16:52:01
Hopefully it doesn't devolve into an OJ Simpson situation.
Don Alexander
4 Posted 30/10/2019 at 17:43:34
Being convicted of thuggery, as Jeffers now is, is the way to become a legend in the club. Ask Ferguson.
David Pearl
5 Posted 30/10/2019 at 17:49:45
Wondering the response to the news on Francis Jeffers that's just broken. I'd be surprised if he keeps his job.
Stan Schofield
7 Posted 30/10/2019 at 18:22:06
Kieran@1: You're asking questions about morals. From this perspective, morally Jean Val-Jean was a decent man with integrity, who stole a loaf of bread to feed his family. He's a role model treated badly by an unjust system. From the description we have so far of Jeffers' offence, it doesn't look like Jeffers would be viewed in a similar light, indeed quite the reverse, someone who did something bad, unnecessarily and clearly wrongly. He's in the public eye, and arguably should act as a role model. If he acts contrary to that, perhaps he should be sacked. Such is also the case in many professions, including Chartered Engineers and GPs for example, who are expected to avoid actions that would damage the image of their profession.
Brian Williams
8 Posted 30/10/2019 at 18:33:59
Jesus Everton can't be paying him much his brief asked for three months to pay £700 in fines!
Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 30/10/2019 at 18:46:34
Kieran #1, he doesn't work with pipes and fittings, he works with kids. And he clearly has some serious problems.

This isn't his first trip off the deep end. He was arrested some years back for beating up his then-father-in-law -- the cops took a broomstick away from him -- and I'm pretty sure he was sacked by one of his previous clubs (Wednesday, maybe?) for head-butting an opponent.

Counseling and public penance? Sure, if this were a one-off or related to a disease like substance abuse for which Jeffers had sought help. But this isn't that. I'm pretty liberal in these areas, but I frankly don't think Jeffers' "right" to continue his career quite measures up to his ex-wife's right to live without harassment and threats... and the right of our young players to have a role model who isn't a complete asshole.

Red card for me. Right now.

Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 30/10/2019 at 18:53:09

I didn't realize about chartered engineers. I knew Doctors could get struck off but I thought that was only if they were like Harold Shipman and actually murdered patients etc. But I get your point.

Mike Gaynes

I didn't know about his prior or the broomstick. Maybe he should be a witch and fly off. I was just thinking in terms of his lack of skill to perform another career. But if as you say, he is a periodically violent SOB, in addition to already being a one time Everton traitor, then yes Red card from me too.

Brian Williams
11 Posted 30/10/2019 at 18:56:08
I'd agree with Mike. The offence doesn't have to "relate" to the job being carried out.
Employers should, and do, have the right to expect a certain standard of behaviour from their employees and they should be able to fire employees who's standards fall below what's acceptable.
There are numerous offences that wouldn't "physically" affect an individuals ability to do the job they're employed to do but that shouldn't preclude them from getting the boot should they commit certain offences.
Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 30/10/2019 at 19:05:39
Kieran #9, must admit that I never viewed him as a traitor -- I always thought he did us a favor by leaving. ٦ million was a nice bit of coin back then, and he was never worth a crap for Arsenal -- or for any of the clubs he played for after that. I think I read somewhere that by the time he left us at age 20, he had already scored half his career goals... is that correct?

So no grudge from me on that one.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 30/10/2019 at 19:10:34

It worked out in our favor ultimately but it was more his attitude prior to it when he came from nowhere as a "wonder kid" and suddenly his family are all "our Franny is too good for Everton" and what not before he eventually got that move. Then he came back with his tail between his legs on loan. He proceeded to get into it with Moyes about lack of playing time only to strop off once again. Yet we bring him back for a third time.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 30/10/2019 at 19:11:45
When contacted by the Liverpool Echo an Everton spokesman said ‘ This is a personal and private matter and the club would not be making a statement about it' End of quote.
Derek Knox
15 Posted 01/11/2019 at 15:24:07
So the 'Fox in the Box' is more like a 'Snake in the Grass' or a 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing'.
Derek Taylor
16 Posted 01/11/2019 at 17:54:35
How will he pay his maintenance payments if he loses his job?
Mike Kehoe
17 Posted 03/11/2019 at 10:55:41
When you work in any profession with children or vulnerable people you are automatically subject to a DBS police check and some offences bar you from working directly, depending on the context. The decision may be out of the clubs hands.
Personally, I feel that to have the privilege of enjoying such a high profile career it is reasonable that the expectations regarding conduct should be higher as he is a role model: that's not just because he shat on the club by the way.
Darren Hind
18 Posted 03/11/2019 at 11:02:26
Thought this was a footy forum ?

Brent Stephens
19 Posted 03/11/2019 at 11:15:49
As Mike #17 says, this might be out of the club's hands, where somebody is working with children.

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