Saturday 29 November 2014

Brady: Scudamore is not sexist

Published 19/05/2014 | 19:57

Karren Brady, pictured, has spoken out in support of Richard Scudamore
Karren Brady, pictured, has spoken out in support of Richard Scudamore

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has insisted that Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore "is categorically not sexist" - but that she was disappointed to learn of the emails he had sent.

The 17 Premier League clubs - not including the three that were relegated - decided against any further disciplinary action against Scudamore after hearing he had apologised for sending sexist emails.

Brady said: "Obviously myself and the clubs are disappointed at what they have seen and heard, but no more so than Richard himself.

"He has served not only the Premier League, but the wider game over the last 17 years and very few have done more, in my opinion, to open up football, to support women in the game and take the whole anti-discrimination agenda forward.

"I have known Richard for 20 years and he is categorically not sexist.

"We have unanimously accepted his apology and contrition at face value, and now we move on to ensuring more is delivered under Richard's tenure going forward."

Sunderland's chief executive Margaret Byrne also made clear her support for him, but the head of anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, Lord Herman Ouseley, claimed the Premier League's process in dealing with Scudamore was "flawed".

Ouseley said: "Richard Scudamore is one of the most successful and powerful men in world football. The outcome of today's proceedings into the revealed emails and their contents leaves the status quo intact.

"The process adopted by the Premier League is a flawed one and there was only ever going to be one outcome. It is incumbent on the Premier League to put in place a proper, objective, fair and independent process for dealing with such important matters in future."

Byrne said Scudamore had always dealt with her in a professional manner.

She said: "I wholeheartedly endorse the decision made today and I am delighted that common sense has prevailed.

"Richard made a mistake, for which he apologised both swiftly and unreservedly. All too often, external organisations or individuals try to exert pressure, when they are not privy to facts of cases.

"I work on an on-going basis with the Premier League, both as CEO of one of its member clubs and as part of its legal advisory group. I have never encountered any discrimination based on my gender and in my regular dealings with Richard he has always acted in a professional manner."

Scudamore has now promised to hold a series of meetings across football to reassure people of his commitment to promote women in the game.

Ouseley added: "It is incumbent now on the chief executive of the Premier League to establish trust and confidence among the many people in football who believe that there is one rule for them, and another one for those that run the game."

Press Association

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