LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has apologised for his “inappropriate” emails containing sexist language that were leaked to a Sunday newspaper in Britain by his former PA.
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 cancelled the appointment for “legal reasons” following the publication of the story in the Sunday Mirror.
The bureaucrat, who earns more than 1.2 million pounds a year and has helped make the Premier League the most lucrative footballleague in the world with a current global TV rights deal worth more than 3.0 billion pounds, faces accusations of hypocrisy having regularly championed equality for women in football.
He has allied the Premier League with initiatives started by the FA and Sport England to promote a new FA Women and Girls programme with a 2.4 million pounds investment over two years.
He has also publicly claimed the league strives to be at “the leading edge” of the “whole equality agenda”.
However, his former PA gave explicit examples of insulting and sexist language about women.
She told the newspaper 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.
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch, a qualified FA coach and the manager of a girls team, said: ”It’s disappointing at a time when he’s trying to encourage more women to play football that he is using derogatory terminology like this.
“It is important that someone who is promoting the women’s game shouldn‘t’ be using language like this.”
Reporting by Mike Collett