Sorry Mr Scudamore, but that’s just not good enough 1


Yesterday, the Premier League decided that no further action would be taken against Richard Scudamore and that his involvement in the recent email scandal did not compromise his ability to continue as their Chief Executive.

Part of Scudamore’s defence seems to be a deflection tactic, and it has been argued that the information obtained by The Mirror was done so via the unauthorised actions of a personal assistant.  The crude jokes and derogatory remarks are not quite as offensive as they would have been had they been exposed legitimately.

That’s not much of a defence.

When something like this happens, the default position of the guilty tends to be to blame the scandal on sensationalism or to characterise the dissenters as being part of the hysterical PC culture.  True, there are many situations in which overreactions do occur, but this isn’t one of them.  Look at the people who are insisting that this is a non-issue: they’re all the same person, they’re all middle-aged white journalists who either think in the same way as Richard Scudamore or who haven’t adjusted properly to the modern life’s focus on equality.

Yes, if you’re that kind of person it would be very easy to mumble something about hysteria whilst directing people away from the uncomfortable truths that this episode has exposed.

But say you’re a woman today, and say you have aspirations within English football; what are you thinking?  Amongst the women’s national team, for example, do you think there are many players shaking their head and wondering what the fuss is all about?  Are their female executives at Premier League clubs this morning celebrating Scudamore’s ‘edgy’ sense of humour?

No, probably not.

That’s the problem here and it’s the issue which and it’s the one football has typically failed to address.  The issue is not whether Scudamore is a raging misogynist, it’s whether someone who is perceived to be one is fit to run a governing organisation who are supposedly committed to encouraging equality.

If those emails had contained a casual slur about a black player, would Scudamore still have a job?  How about if he’d used derisory slang to characterise homesexuals?  No and no - so why is this different?  Why is this ‘oh, it’s just a bit of fun - lighten up’ defence only applicable to women?

Don’t you see why this is a problem?  Not only is the Premier League run by someone who is comfortable using misogynistic terms, but it’s also staffed by people who have no issue with that - and, on top of which, the game is dominated by journalists, TV presenters, club chairmen etc who aren’t overly bothered by any of this.  It’s disastrous; how can any aspirations of complete inclusion be taken seriously while that remains the case?

Women are being cast as the second-class citizens in football,and that can’t be right.  Scudamore needs to go, and his crude little peer group need to quick learn the lessons from his demise.

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