Charlie Austin has been given a formal warning by the Football Association in relation to offensive comments aimed at Southampton fans on social media.
The West Brom striker joined from the Premier League club last summer and responded to criticism from Saints fans on Twitter last weekend with an expletive-laden rant. He will face no further action.
The 30-year-old had initially retweeted a comment on the dangers of social media, but then responded to replies from two Southampton fans by mocking their club’s supporters in general.
Austin wrote: “Couldn’t agree more it’s a f****** joke, gives people and companies a platform to say what they like without any remorse… think before you speak/tweet/post.”
However, a Southampton fan hit back at Austin, saying: “Difficult to get behind a striker who couldn’t run five minutes without huffing and puffing Chaz! Big mouth for a man who accelerates slower than a 50 tonne lorry on an icy slope.
“Blame the club that paid your wages and supports your kids instead of yourself. WHAT A ROLE MODEL.”
In response, Austin said: “Oh they didn’t support my kids you cheeky c***, I support my family so relax your comments about them! Fire them at me but not them!! I’m all for fan/player banter but your fan base is s***!!”
Another fan quote-tweeted Austin’s initial post and said: “Didn’t think when you insulted our whole fanbase and club did it tho chazza #Saintsfc”.
The English forward continued his furious rage and replied: “You’re s*** fans, you don’t sing to get behind the team, only when they score, never when they need a boost.”
One supporter replied: “Classy as ever Charlie.”
The tweets in this exchange have since been deleted from Austin’s Twitter account.
The FA had asked Austin for his observations and it’s understood this resulted in the player being formally warned in relation to the social media activity, but he will face no further action.
During January 2019, Austin was handed a two-match ban after gesturing at Manchester City fans when he had been substituted during Southampton’s 3-1 home defeat.
Austin signed for West Brom in a reported £4million deal last summer, having made 81 appearances for Southampton over a three-year spell, scoring 20 goals in all competitions.
The striker has scored nine goals in 28 appearances in total this season for West Brom, who are top of the Sky Bet Championship.