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SBD Global/May 12, 2014/International Football

Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore Apologizes For Sexist Emails

Emails from Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore were leaked to the Daily Mirror.
Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore "has apologised for his 'inappropriate' emails containing sexist language that were leaked" to Britain's Daily Mirror by his former personal assistant, according to Mike Collett of REUTERS. In a statement, Scudamore said, "I accept the contents are inappropriate and apologise for any offence caused, particularly to the former employee. It was an error of judgment that I will not make again. These were private emails exchanged between colleagues and friends of many years. They were received from and sent to my private and confidential email address, which a temporary employee who was with the organisation for only a matter of weeks should not have accessed and was under no instruction to do so." Scudamore was due to speak on BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday morning but canceled the appointment for "legal reasons" following the publication of the story in the Sunday Mirror (REUTERS, 5/11). In London, Matthew Drake reported Scudamore's former PA said that his emails "were sent to her ­automatically while she was working for him at the Premier League last October so she could arrange his diary." She said, "I can tell you he has no respect for women. I don’t think anyone should have to be exposed to such language and opinions at work. It was highly offensive. The emails portrayed women in a very derogatory manner. I have worked for very professional organizations and never seen anything like it. That’s why it shocked me." Scudamore’s "slurs come after a survey this year found more than two-thirds of women working in football have ­experienced sexism." His former ­PA added, "I think people should know about this man’s attitude to women and the communications he is prepared to make from his work email" (DAILY MIRROR, 5/10).

FACING THE FALLOUT: ESPN reported Scudamore "is facing calls for an investigation into his position." Women in Football, a group aiming to improve women's representation in the game, said it was "shocked" by the reports. A group spokesperson said, "We expect the Premier League to conduct a full and proper investigation. Sexism, as with racism and homophobia, is not acceptable in the workplace" (ESPN, 5/11). The BBC reported former U.K. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said that Scudamore "has undermined his support for women's football." Jowell said the comments were "incredibly disappointing" and "unacceptable." She added, "You can't have one position publicly and then be laughing privately." Jowell: "In the world of social media and email, there is no public and private. I think what Richard needs to reflect on, and I think he's a decent man, is the disconnect between what he thinks privately and what he has tried to achieve publicly" (BBC, 5/11). In London, Matt Law reported Scudamore "has no plans to review his position or step down after being forced to apologise for a series of leaked emails." The EPL has "no plans to comment or take the issue further and, along with Scudamore, now consider the matter closed." They "are confident there are no more damaging emails that will come to light" (TELEGRAPH, 5/11).

SCUDAMORE BOOED: In London, Dan Warburton noted Scudamore was "booed by City fans as he presented Premier medals" to players following Man City's Premier League title-clinching victory. In his first public appearance since his apology, Scudamore "appeared grimfaced" (DAILY MIRROR, 5/11).
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