Football: Premier League chief keeps job despite sexism row

LONDON (AFP) - English Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is set to retain his job after officials announced Monday he would face no further disciplinary action for sending sexist e-mails.

Last week Britain's Sunday Mirror newspaper published leaked private e-mails sent by Scudamore to a lawyer friend which contained crude sexual innuendos.

Since then Scudamore, 54, had faced a torrent of criticism, from both inside and outside football.

But a meeting of Premier League clubs decided against disciplinary action after being told the emails "did include some inappropriate remarks" but that Scudamore had apologised.

Premier League acting chairman Peter McCormick said in a statement: "In these circumstances, and in the light of a previously unblemished record over 15 years of service to the Premier League, the clubs resolved unanimously that no further disciplinary action is required or justified."

In the e-mails, Scudamore was revealed to have joked about "female irrationality", forwarded a "male fairy tale" about a prince who'd slept with various women, and told his friend to keep a female colleague "off your shaft" in a golf-related exchange.

Rani Abraham, the woman who leaked the e-mail, said she felt "humiliated, belittled and disgusted" when reading the messages.

Abraham, who worked as a temporary personal assistant for Scudamore, told the Sunday Mirror: "This is not the sort of thing that goes on in offices these days."

However, a Premier League statement issued at the weekend said: "The Premier League continues to be fully committed to treating all staff fairly and on merit, regardless of gender."

Scudamore has faced calls to quit with Heather Rabbatts, the Football Association's independent board and one of the most senior women in English football, saying he should consider his position in light of "growing evidence of a closed culture of sexism" at the Premier League.

Abraham defended her conduct in leaking private correspondence by saying: "Mr Scudamore has a huge amount of influence and is paid a vast sum of money and has behaved wrongly.

"Having witnessed that I felt I had a duty to speak out.

"And for those people who've attacked me for saying they were just 'jokes' would they feel if those messages were written about their wife or girlfriend or daughter?"

FA chairman Greg Dyke, while calling Scudamore's comments "totally inappropriate", has said the governing body will not take action as they don't consider private e-mail comments to amount to professional misconduct.

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