A female physiotherapist at a First Division football club who claimed she lost her job because of the "male-dominated" world of football lost her case for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination yesterday.
Clare Mussi, 31, had claimed that a "glass ceiling" preventing women becoming physiotherapists for first-team players meant that she was discriminated against by her former club, Crystal Palace. An employment tribunal at Croydon, south London, heard that Ms Mussi was paid £25,000 a year to run physiotherapy at the club's youth academy when she was selected for possible redundancy last year as part of a drive to cut costs.
She had claimed that the club's main physiotherapist, George Cooper, should also have been put at risk of redundancy because he had the same qualifications and similar experience to herself. She told the tribunal: "I can only assume that the [club] did not want me to compete with Mr Cooper ... as they wanted to have a male physiotherapist."
Kevin Watts, the Crystal Palace human resources director, told the tribunal that Mr Cooper had not been selected for possible redundancy because he had more experience.