Friday 2 December 2016

Co-workers glad to see the back of feared 'boys club'

Jeremy Wilson

Published 27/01/2011 | 05:00

Colleagues of Richard Keys and Andy Gray at Sky Sports last night hailed their departures as the end of a feared "boys' club" that had developed beneath the company's two most senior football presenters.

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The sacking of Gray on Tuesday was followed last night by the resignation of Keys in response to the outrage over their sexist behaviour in a series of leaked off-air footage.

Sky Sports has not instigated an internal investigation into how four such damaging clips were leaked between Sunday and Tuesday of this week and, according to numerous sources, there is general delight within the company that the era of Keys and Gray is now over.

"There has been an atmosphere of celebration at Sky this week -- a lot of people are smiling," said one presenter.

A former member of Sky's production team said: "I have talked to a lot of former colleagues and every single one of them is punching the air with delight. It was a culture of fear. You didn't dare to say a word against them."

The events of the past five days have certainly had the feel of a crumbling empire.

The foundations were effectively dismantled by the first clip of Keys and Gray's sexist behaviour towards assistant referee Sian Massey and, since then, the bricks have tumbled with surprising ease.

Sky Sports' apparent disinterest in how the material has been leaked suggests a strong desire to overhaul the culture, beginning at the very top.

"I know for a fact that there is no witch-hunt about the leaked material," said the former colleague.

The most generous observation from those who have worked with Keys and Gray is that the environment was akin to a football dressing-room with merciless banter flying between the staff.

For some, however, they regularly crossed a line. It had reached the stage where Sky would often employ freelancers on a Monday night for make-up because regular staff did not want to work with the pair.

Irish Independent

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