As a follow-up on my blog post, I have now written an open letter to the Chairmen of the FA and the Premier League asking what action they are going to take regarding Richard Scudamore’s emails which he has accepted were “inappropriate”.
Greg Dyke Esq.
The Football Association
Anthony Fry Esq.
The FA Premier League Limited
Yesterday evening I published a blog post questioning whether the Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore should face FA disciplinary charges in light of the sexist and discriminatory content of a series of emails reported in the Sunday Mirror.
It appears to me that Richard’s comments must be in breach of FA Rules E3 and E4 and also of the Premier League’s own Anti-Discrimination Policy:
“1. … Football belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, everyone equally. The League shares with the FA a commitment to confront and eliminate discrimination, whether by reason of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion of disability.
2. The League is an equal opportunities employer. It is committed to equality of opportunity within its organisation and to encouraging similar commitment from every other organisation or individual acting within the game.
3. Equality of opportunity means that in none of its activities will the League discriminate against, or in any way treat less favourably, any person on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or disability. …
4. The League will not tolerate sexual or racially-based harassment or other discriminatory behaviour, whether physical or verbal, and the Board will ensure that such behaviour is met with appropriate disciplinary action whenever it occurs“
Moreover, the attitudes that his comments demonstrate beg a series of questions about his own and the Premier League’s commitment to diversity in general and specifically about the role of women in football as players, coaches, officials and leaders.
As a member of the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, charged with verifying and monitoring the delivery of English Football’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan, I would like to ask you both what steps the FA and Premier League intend to take:
- To ensure appropriate disciplinary action is taken regarding Richard’s inappropriate and discriminatory remarks; and
- To assure women in football that Richard’s comments do not represent institutional sexism within the game and to demonstrate that women are welcome at every level of football, from the dressing room to the boardroom?
I look forward to hearing from you and would, of course, be happy to meet if you would find that to be helpful.
With best wishes,
Edward Lord is a member of the Football Association’s Inclusion Advisory Board and Chair of the London FA Inclusion Advisory Group, writing in a personal capacity.