Suzanne Geldard column: Scudamore's remarks a concern for all women in football

Richard Scudamore

Richard Scudamore

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Burnley FC reporter

WHEN is a sexist comment not a sexist comment? When it is said in private, or rather written on a private email. Apparently.

But when it comes from the mouth, or in this instance fingertips – certainly the mind – of a leading figure in a global field then someone needs to do something.

So far, no-one has done anything.

Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, has apologised for comments made about an unnamed woman and that, it seems, is the end of the story.

Hands washed. Chip paper at the ready.

But is he really sorry for the derogatory words that have been exposed, or is he just sorry that he was caught?

When you’ve worked in the journalism industry for any length of time it takes a lot to shock.

But the language used in reference to women in this email exchange was at such a level of inappropriateness it would make even the most hardened ‘hack’ gasp.

Under the ‘personal life’ section of Scudamore’s Wikipedia page it says he is ‘married to Catherine and has five children: Jamie, Chloe, Patrick, Ned and Lara’. A wife and two daughters, which makes his lack of respect for the opposite sex even harder to swallow.

This is not just a work-related issue, it is humanitarian.

But as I prepare, in the work place, for another season of Premier League football following Burnley’s promotion it concerns me.

I must stress, I have never encountered any gender-related difficulties since covering the Clarets, or Accrington Stanley before that.

Both family orientated clubs, they uphold those values, and any disagreements I have had with managers or players have been professional, not personal.

I was 10 years old when I decided ‘when I grow up, I want to write about football’. I played it, I watched it, I loved writing.

For me, it was a natural career path.

Of course, despite my tender years, I was fully aware that I would be entering a so-called man’s world.

But I had the late Helen Rollason as a role model to aspire to in the 1990s, blazing a trail for women in sport as the first female presenter of Grandstand.

I worked hard at it. I got my head down at school, got the grades that I needed to do a university course that would put me on the career path that had chosen at a very young age.

There were hundreds of applicants for the 25 places available. I was delighted to get an interview. I was over the moon to be selected for the diploma, and delighted to be alongside another like-minded female. I wasn’t alone, and we were there on merit.

Since then there are many more women entering the world of sports journalism, particularly football, and it is great to see.

But if anything the glass ceiling is getting thicker, less penetrable.

But that won’t stop us chipping away at it.

Comments (11)

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5:16pm Thu 22 May 14

Leonard Venkhater says...

His remarks are a concern full stop. His unwillingness to act over the ownership/agent, transfer fiasco at BRFC is another concern.
Scudamore Credibilty 0 Cowdenbeath 5
His remarks are a concern full stop. His unwillingness to act over the ownership/agent, transfer fiasco at BRFC is another concern. Scudamore Credibilty 0 Cowdenbeath 5 Leonard Venkhater
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Thu 22 May 14

RobH2O says...

Leonard Venkhater wrote:
His remarks are a concern full stop. His unwillingness to act over the ownership/agent, transfer fiasco at BRFC is another concern.
Scudamore Credibilty 0 Cowdenbeath 5
Venky ownership of Rovers is a national service. Weekly comedy for everyone!
[quote][p][bold]Leonard Venkhater[/bold] wrote: His remarks are a concern full stop. His unwillingness to act over the ownership/agent, transfer fiasco at BRFC is another concern. Scudamore Credibilty 0 Cowdenbeath 5[/p][/quote]Venky ownership of Rovers is a national service. Weekly comedy for everyone! RobH2O
  • Score: 1

5:28pm Thu 22 May 14

PK Bailey says...

Who doesn't talk about anyone behind their backs at times in derogatorily terms,and i will show you a liar!
Who doesn't talk about anyone behind their backs at times in derogatorily terms,and i will show you a liar! PK Bailey
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Thu 22 May 14

McClaret says...

Why can't women park cars - because men tell them that -------------------- is 6 inches!

Why can't people just let people tell jokes, get off the PC bandwagon and stop trying to get public figures sacked. Yes he made a mistake, yes he has apologised and yes let's move on to the next story please.
Of more concern to me is the Temp PA taking confidential material to the press. I am sure there are laws against that, where is she in all of this? And please SG don't tell me that those comments are shocking to a member of the press because if one size fits all approach applies then you are associated in the same establishment as those that hacked Millie Dowler's phone. Now that was shocking and let's hope justice is well and truly applied for those breaking the law and not those making private comments to a mate.
Why can't women park cars - because men tell them that -------------------- is 6 inches! Why can't people just let people tell jokes, get off the PC bandwagon and stop trying to get public figures sacked. Yes he made a mistake, yes he has apologised and yes let's move on to the next story please. Of more concern to me is the Temp PA taking confidential material to the press. I am sure there are laws against that, where is she in all of this? And please SG don't tell me that those comments are shocking to a member of the press because if one size fits all approach applies then you are associated in the same establishment as those that hacked Millie Dowler's phone. Now that was shocking and let's hope justice is well and truly applied for those breaking the law and not those making private comments to a mate. McClaret
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Thu 22 May 14

McClaret says...

Girls can play in boys football and women in mens football. Are boys allowed to play in girls teams and men in womens football teams. I hope so as I am all for equality.
Girls can play in boys football and women in mens football. Are boys allowed to play in girls teams and men in womens football teams. I hope so as I am all for equality. McClaret
  • Score: 1

5:46pm Thu 22 May 14

TurfMoorTom says...

"But I had the late Helen Rollason as a role model to aspire to in the 1990s, blazing a trail for women in sport as the first female presenter of Grandstand." You work for a local provincial rag of very limited circulation with only the inbred 6-fingered community taking any note of your work, most of them with disdain.

"I worked hard at it. I got my head down at school". I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere but be a darling and put the kettle on......
"But I had the late Helen Rollason as a role model to aspire to in the 1990s, blazing a trail for women in sport as the first female presenter of Grandstand." You work for a local provincial rag of very limited circulation with only the inbred 6-fingered community taking any note of your work, most of them with disdain. "I worked hard at it. I got my head down at school". I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere but be a darling and put the kettle on...... TurfMoorTom
  • Score: -1

6:35pm Thu 22 May 14

jogalot says...

All human beings are created equal. We may acquire superior skills in all kinds of things but as human beings we are still equal. Scudamore's remarks are sexist because he implies all women are not as good as men and this is an offence to all women. Sexists are inadequate or just plain ignorant and feel that by putting women down, it lifts them up. Same with racists. Using jokes is a common way of being sexist or racist and this is thought OK by many because they haven't really thought it through or studied their prejudices.

Most of us are brought up sexist or racist in some way and most of us would be aghast when we learn some of our thoughts or words or actions are sexist or racist. Many people don't know any better. Scudamore is one of these I think, but I'm not sure if he has learnt much. Sexism, racism and other prejudices should be compulsory learning at schools. Life does not always teach the lessons we need, especially if we mix with a similar group of people all our lives. It is hard to be different or stand up for our beliefs in a peer group, so if our peer group is formed whilst at school without prejudices and a good understanding, we all have a better chance. But will the government or leaders, who themselves are often prejudiced, put the full funding in to make this happen?

Lecture over. Thank you if you got this far.
All human beings are created equal. We may acquire superior skills in all kinds of things but as human beings we are still equal. Scudamore's remarks are sexist because he implies all women are not as good as men and this is an offence to all women. Sexists are inadequate or just plain ignorant and feel that by putting women down, it lifts them up. Same with racists. Using jokes is a common way of being sexist or racist and this is thought OK by many because they haven't really thought it through or studied their prejudices. Most of us are brought up sexist or racist in some way and most of us would be aghast when we learn some of our thoughts or words or actions are sexist or racist. Many people don't know any better. Scudamore is one of these I think, but I'm not sure if he has learnt much. Sexism, racism and other prejudices should be compulsory learning at schools. Life does not always teach the lessons we need, especially if we mix with a similar group of people all our lives. It is hard to be different or stand up for our beliefs in a peer group, so if our peer group is formed whilst at school without prejudices and a good understanding, we all have a better chance. But will the government or leaders, who themselves are often prejudiced, put the full funding in to make this happen? Lecture over. Thank you if you got this far. jogalot
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Thu 22 May 14

RobH2O says...

TurfMoorTom wrote:
"But I had the late Helen Rollason as a role model to aspire to in the 1990s, blazing a trail for women in sport as the first female presenter of Grandstand." You work for a local provincial rag of very limited circulation with only the inbred 6-fingered community taking any note of your work, most of them with disdain.

"I worked hard at it. I got my head down at school". I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere but be a darling and put the kettle on......
Loser
[quote][p][bold]TurfMoorTom[/bold] wrote: "But I had the late Helen Rollason as a role model to aspire to in the 1990s, blazing a trail for women in sport as the first female presenter of Grandstand." You work for a local provincial rag of very limited circulation with only the inbred 6-fingered community taking any note of your work, most of them with disdain. "I worked hard at it. I got my head down at school". I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere but be a darling and put the kettle on......[/p][/quote]Loser RobH2O
  • Score: 2

10:00pm Thu 22 May 14

Super_Clarets says...

TurfMoorTom wrote:
"But I had the late Helen Rollason as a role model to aspire to in the 1990s, blazing a trail for women in sport as the first female presenter of Grandstand." You work for a local provincial rag of very limited circulation with only the inbred 6-fingered community taking any note of your work, most of them with disdain.

"I worked hard at it. I got my head down at school". I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere but be a darling and put the kettle on......
Lowlife crotch-sniffing degenerate.
[quote][p][bold]TurfMoorTom[/bold] wrote: "But I had the late Helen Rollason as a role model to aspire to in the 1990s, blazing a trail for women in sport as the first female presenter of Grandstand." You work for a local provincial rag of very limited circulation with only the inbred 6-fingered community taking any note of your work, most of them with disdain. "I worked hard at it. I got my head down at school". I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere but be a darling and put the kettle on......[/p][/quote]Lowlife crotch-sniffing degenerate. Super_Clarets
  • Score: 1

10:39pm Thu 22 May 14

wilddog says...

Tell ya something, Equal rights work when it suits, dont it? whoa betide anyone talking in a term that a women find offensive, well to some of them anyway. Ya moan coz you have to work longer now but hang on, why not, you wanted equality but it seems, not all of it! Only the bits you like! You want fair pay? Not a problem, you got it. You also get paid leave when having a child but hang on, Equality? Does that not mean the Dad should get the same? Hmmm, Nope! Emails are private and so is a phone conversation. So is talking to a friend one to one. You want it all. Permission to post this? Dont need it!
Tell ya something, Equal rights work when it suits, dont it? whoa betide anyone talking in a term that a women find offensive, well to some of them anyway. Ya moan coz you have to work longer now but hang on, why not, you wanted equality but it seems, not all of it! Only the bits you like! You want fair pay? Not a problem, you got it. You also get paid leave when having a child but hang on, Equality? Does that not mean the Dad should get the same? Hmmm, Nope! Emails are private and so is a phone conversation. So is talking to a friend one to one. You want it all. Permission to post this? Dont need it! wilddog
  • Score: 0

12:37am Fri 23 May 14

no ney never says...

A journalist? your having a laugh..
I'd hardly call writing up interviews with players as covering Burnley. Where are YOUR match reports? Not the news agency ones you simply copy and paste.
When did you last come up with an exclusive which was then picked up by the national media?
I see little journalism in your so called 'coverage' (lol) of Burnley.

As for going on one because some bloke has said this that and the other about women, so what! How old are you? sticks and stones and all that.

Why do beautiful young women go out with wealthy old(er) men, want to be wags, etc.? Because they are attracted to money and the lifestyle it can buy. Is that not fickle?
When you move in the circles of wealthy individuals such as Scudamore you come across many women like this, so its no wonder when he sees them throwing themselves around like they do that he has little regard for some and takes the pss out of 'em. When he writes 'save your cash for some gash' in a private email, its probably about right within some circles.
I think you are better directing your so called journalism towards those women whose actions give rise to such derogatory terms. Your better off having a word with those that are letting women down, not attacking the bloke who has spotted it. Women eh...typical.
A journalist? your having a laugh.. I'd hardly call writing up interviews with players as covering Burnley. Where are YOUR match reports? Not the news agency ones you simply copy and paste. When did you last come up with an exclusive which was then picked up by the national media? I see little journalism in your so called 'coverage' (lol) of Burnley. As for going on one because some bloke has said this that and the other about women, so what! How old are you? sticks and stones and all that. Why do beautiful young women go out with wealthy old(er) men, want to be wags, etc.? Because they are attracted to money and the lifestyle it can buy. Is that not fickle? When you move in the circles of wealthy individuals such as Scudamore you come across many women like this, so its no wonder when he sees them throwing themselves around like they do that he has little regard for some and takes the pss out of 'em. When he writes 'save your cash for some gash' in a private email, its probably about right within some circles. I think you are better directing your so called journalism towards those women whose actions give rise to such derogatory terms. Your better off having a word with those that are letting women down, not attacking the bloke who has spotted it. Women eh...typical. no ney never
  • Score: -1

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