WEEKENDER: Stop playing down the Scudamore gaffe

WEEKENDER: Stop playing down the Scudamore gaffe

File photo dated 26/10/2013 of Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 20, 2014. Rani Abraham, the former temporary personal assistant who leaked sexist emails sent by Premier League chief executi

Uruguay's soccer player Luis Suarez, center, leaves a clinic in a wheelchair in Montevideo, Uruguay, Thursday, May 22, 2014. Suarez had surgery on his left knee Thursday but is expected to recover in time for the World Cup, where as one of the world&#

File photo dated 26/03/2014 of Liverpool's Luis Suarez. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 22, 2014. Liverpool are awaiting an update from their own medical staff after reports in Uruguay that striker Luis Suarez requires an operation o

First published in News

AS ITS own chief executive Richard Scudamore might be moved to describe it in an e-mail, the Premier League's irrationality appears to have increased exponentially this week.

So much opprobrium has rained down on upon Mr Scudamore and his fellow high flyers since news of his appalling taste in e-mail wisecrackery leaked last weekend, it is a wonder that the league's headquarters in swanky Marylebone, London, is not buried roof-high in the stuff.

But no, there it still sits, its top brass barely able to see the world as it really is for the pound signs that keep blocking their view, as they continue their ceaseless quest to rake in billions of pounds in television rights deals.

And there too continues to sit Mr Scudamore himself, king of all he surveys, barely a stray crease in the material of his expensively tailored suit that might betray any hint of his having had, as my mum might say, "a right old time of it."

Hear that thunder earlier this week? No need to have worried. That was just the sound of Premier League board members, staff and the clubs rushing to circle the wagons around their beleaguered leader.

An investigation was held, we were informed, into the circumstances of these e-mails, and Scudamore was subsequently allowed to keep his job. Surprise, surprise.

Or is it? One of the features of this matter is the significant support Scudamore has enjoyed from high ranking football executives, some players, and from a shouty proportion of the public at large.

The word 'banter' has been thrown around a lot this week, as if it is a magic bullet to somehow excuse or negate the sort of petty-minded, misogynist rubbish Scudamore peddled in the e-mails that have come to light.

There is a lot of banter out there, much of it harmless, but it is also a word used to try to excuse stuff that really is a little more serious than that, and to try to excuse outbursts from people in positions of power and responsibility who really should know better.

And surely Richard Scudamore falls into the latter category. It should matter not whether some people, inside or outside the game, proclaim not to be offended, and therefore, everything is all right.

There are plenty, inside and outside the game who have been offended, and if this is the sort of narrow-minded rubbish one of the most powerful figures in football on these islands is coming out with - even in so-called 'private' e-mails - then his position ought to be untenable.

But of course, he is universally acknowledged to be excellent at his job, which is to make the Premier League a global brand awash with cash and shown on as many television screens as possible, in the UK and further afield.

So that's all right, then. The Premier League has pretty much brushed the matter under its no doubt very plush and expensive carpet. I suspect the aforementioned opprobrium will however, be much harder to get rid of.

This afternoon, my beloved Derby County take on Queen's Park Rangers in the Championship play-off final, for a place in the Premier League next season.

I should be incredibly excited. I am not. If Richard Scudamore is the man Rams fans have to be grateful to for securing the multi-million pound handout that goes with winning promotion from this afternoon's Wembley showcase, then thanks, but no thanks.

I'd rather my club stayed in the Championship than have to face that prospect.

Perspective is lost on Twitter

REMAINING on the subject of exponential irrationality, Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett has been on the receiving end of the South American-flavoured variety this week.

The 22-year-old, called into the Wales squad for the international friendly against the Netherlands next week, was sent off for a clumsy tackle on Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez in the final Premier League match of the season at Anfield almost two weeks ago.

Dummett's red card was subsequently rescinded, but Suarez of course, has had to undergo surgery for a minor knee injury, which will delay his participation in the World Cup finals, and Uruguay fans, searching for a scapegoat, have homed in on defender's tackle as the reason for their hero's misfortune.

There was no indication after the match that Suarez had been injured as a result of the tackle, though it has been reported that he felt pain in his left knee when he began training at Uruguay's World Cup build-up camp.

Cue death threats to Dummett, one Twitter message alluding to "a bullet in the head."

Now of course, one of Twitter's roles is as a vast depository for type-without-thinking hot air, anger, verbal sniping, and bad taste.

But a sense of perspective often gets lost in the heat of the 140-character moment, and it can get downright nasty - and surely death threats, however empty, fall into that category?

Comments (4)

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4:41pm Sat 24 May 14

paddyparry says...

Dear Weekener, I think you, like a lot of other people, need to get some perspective. People make mistakes and learn from them, maybe not you and other selfrighteous commentators, but the rest if us do. Then again it's how people like you make your money - turning molehills into mountains. Without people like you spouting selfrighteous codswallop, we maybe able to concentrate on more important problems facing the world.
Dear Weekener, I think you, like a lot of other people, need to get some perspective. People make mistakes and learn from them, maybe not you and other selfrighteous commentators, but the rest if us do. Then again it's how people like you make your money - turning molehills into mountains. Without people like you spouting selfrighteous codswallop, we maybe able to concentrate on more important problems facing the world. paddyparry
  • Score: -2

7:06pm Sat 24 May 14

Mervyn James says...

What a whiner ! You can hear this stuff every day at the work face, and in the pubs where men are gathered. the article writer needs to get a life. On the BBC they did everything but pull their hair out, ignoring the fact the e-mails were PRIVATE and between friends, it was only because some silly woman saw an opportunity to sell the story to the papers for a few quid she violated his privacy and personal view. Why wasn't SHE sacked for doing that ?

Same old with Charlie, having a private conversation which papers stuck their beaks into 'in the public interest' to get column interest,look, we don't give a **** OK,and charlie ought to sue the BBC and medias too, it is NOT in the pubic interest to violate people's privacy, that is bull manure and shows the gutter level of today's media, have they learn nothing from hacking into people's private lives for news ? Now the Argus has a go lol "The mouse that roared !!!" NOT !
What a whiner ! You can hear this stuff every day at the work face, and in the pubs where men are gathered. the article writer needs to get a life. On the BBC they did everything but pull their hair out, ignoring the fact the e-mails were PRIVATE and between friends, it was only because some silly woman saw an opportunity to sell the story to the papers for a few quid she violated his privacy and personal view. Why wasn't SHE sacked for doing that ? Same old with Charlie, having a private conversation which papers stuck their beaks into 'in the public interest' to get column interest,look, we don't give a **** OK,and charlie ought to sue the BBC and medias too, it is NOT in the pubic interest to violate people's privacy, that is bull manure and shows the gutter level of today's media, have they learn nothing from hacking into people's private lives for news ? Now the Argus has a go lol "The mouse that roared !!!" NOT ! Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

8:12am Sun 25 May 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Along with the sexism, racism and xenophobia, there's also still a lot of homophobia and transphobia within the British football 'culture'. Didn't a footballer called Joey Barton write something transphobic about another footballer on twitter a few years back? The media reported it but because it was derogatory to trans people simply laughed it off as 'a bit o' cheeky banter' and, so predictably of course, no action was taken by the authorities.

I know absolutely zero about football, but as an outsider I do find it bizarre that there are similarly skilled and fabulous women's football teams out there yet it's always the men's football teams that receive the coverage. As they're both playing the same sport why shouldn't they have the opportunity to get the same equal pay, recognition and accolades as their male counterparts?

I mean, it doesn't happen in tennis - at least not anymore - where most people are can reel off the names of top female tennis players as household names in exactly the same way that they're able to name famous male tennis players.

How bizarre...it's not even as if football is considered a typically 'macho' game by the rest of the world. A Canadian colleague of mine told me how she found it extremely peculiar when so much British masculine identity seemed to be wrapped up in football so much as over there it's considered primarily a 'girl's game' whereas hockey is the typical masculine sport.
Along with the sexism, racism and xenophobia, there's also still a lot of homophobia and transphobia within the British football 'culture'. Didn't a footballer called Joey Barton write something transphobic about another footballer on twitter a few years back? The media reported it but because it was derogatory to trans people simply laughed it off as 'a bit o' cheeky banter' and, so predictably of course, no action was taken by the authorities. I know absolutely zero about football, but as an outsider I do find it bizarre that there are similarly skilled and fabulous women's football teams out there yet it's always the men's football teams that receive the coverage. As they're both playing the same sport why shouldn't they have the opportunity to get the same equal pay, recognition and accolades as their male counterparts? I mean, it doesn't happen in tennis - at least not anymore - where most people are can reel off the names of top female tennis players as household names in exactly the same way that they're able to name famous male tennis players. How bizarre...it's not even as if football is considered a typically 'macho' game by the rest of the world. A Canadian colleague of mine told me how she found it extremely peculiar when so much British masculine identity seemed to be wrapped up in football so much as over there it's considered primarily a 'girl's game' whereas hockey is the typical masculine sport. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 1

10:59am Sun 25 May 14

paddyparry says...

The other thing to remember is that the "aggrieved" young lady has now employed a media professional to promote her careeer and find media opportunities. So nit the selfless person we were led to believe she was.

Katie, women's football lacks the income, sponsorship and support needed to pay them the same as their overpaid male colleagues. Not discrimination but simple economics.
The other thing to remember is that the "aggrieved" young lady has now employed a media professional to promote her careeer and find media opportunities. So nit the selfless person we were led to believe she was. Katie, women's football lacks the income, sponsorship and support needed to pay them the same as their overpaid male colleagues. Not discrimination but simple economics. paddyparry
  • Score: 0

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