FA independent board member Heather Rabbatts insists Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore should face 'serious consideration to his position'

Scudamore has found himself at the centre of a sexism scandal after emails sent to a lawyer friend were made public

Richard Scudamore should consider his position in light of "growing evidence of a closed culture of sexism" at the Premier League, the Football Association's independent board member Heather Rabbatts has stated.

Scudamore and the Premier League have encountered a growing tide of criticism with a number of England women internationals calling for action against the league's chief over sexist emails that he sent to a lawyer friend.

Now Rabbatts, who also chairs the FA's inclusion advisory board (IAB) which is meeting on Tuesday to discuss the case, has issued a statement saying there is a lack of good governance in the league and a culture at the top that "demeans women" and discourages them from being part of football administration.

Heather Rabbatts' statement in full

Rabbatts said in a statement to released to Press Association Sport: "No one can doubt the tremendous achievements of the Premier League in creating one of the world's great footballing competitions. But with that success and the massive public interest it generates comes the obligation to behave responsibly and have in place proper lines of accountability and good governance.

"Sadly recent events appear to show that these things are currently lacking in the administration of the Premier League and indeed there is growing evidence of a closed culture of sexism, symbolised in the email exchanges which have been made public.

"It is increasingly clear that steps are needed as a matter of urgency to review governance at the Premier League with a view to improving accountability and tackling head on a culture that demeans women and seems to discourage their involvement in the game's administration.

"These challenges go beyond the current situation of chief executive Richard Scudamore, however if the League are to move forward in a positive way then he and they should give serious consideration to his position in the coming days."

Read more: Premier League to discuss Schudamore emails
Dyke joins criticism of 'totally inappropriate' emails

Rabbatts said it was important for the women's game that changes were made.

She added: "I personally hope that progress can be made on all of these fronts so that we can feel confident that the leaders of football are accountable for their actions and support a culture that genuinely welcomes the participation of women and girls in our national game."

Sponsor Barclays has expressed its disappointment to the Premier League, which has raised the stakes ahead of a meeting of the league's audit and remuneration committee, chaired by Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, on Monday to discuss the case.

Buck's involvement has also raised questions, as he is known to be a friend and shooting partner of Scudamore's. The Premier League is reported to have brought in Milltown Partners public relations agency to advise it on handling the crisis - and it also reported that the PR company works for Chelsea too.

Meanwhile, England women internationals have added their voice to the criticism.

Everton women's goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis said the emails were an "insult to all women" and that Scudamore should be sanctioned, while former England captain Casey Stoney said his position was now "difficult".

The group Women In Football has written to all 20 Premier League clubs and main sponsors asking for an "independent review" of the league's practices.

Stoney said in the Daily Telegraph: "We are trying to get to a world without discrimination and to have somebody in such a high position in football making derogatory comments about females is not acceptable.

"How would he feel if these comments were written about his daughters?

"It is up to the powers that be whether he stays on but talking about women in such a derogatory way makes his position very difficult. Whether it's a private email or not, he has written them and he has only apologised because he has been caught."

Heather Rabbatts is a Non Executive Director of the FA Brown-Finnis told BBC Sport: "It's not just about women who are involved in football, it was an insult to all women.

"However jokey he was trying to be with that, it's just totally unacceptable in this day and age.

"It's zero defence for me. Private emails when you are the head of the Premier League don't really exist.

"Is a sorry enough? Probably not, but I do think the way to move forward is for the Premier League to follow its protocols just like it would with other employees and I'm sure it has policies which would sanction him appropriately for his misconduct."

The emails referred to women in derogatory terms, contained sexual innuendoes, and made jokes about "female irrationality".

After the story broke in the Sunday Mirror, Scudamore issued a statement apologising for the emails, which were sent from his Premier League email account and seen by a former temporary PA who leaked them to the newspaper.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map