January 22nd 2.30pm, Wolverhampton, Molineux. I wonder how many people actually remember the fact Liverpool bombastically strolled passed Wolves 3-0? I have no doubts thousands are more in tune with the fact female assistant referee Sian Massey delivered an intrepidly accomplished performance, live on Sky Sports. And the rest as they say, is pre-historic history.
Just as Sian Massey did when Raul Meireless beat the Wolves’ offside trap, Sky it seems have made the correct call with regards to their two former marquee presenters. Their regrettable conversation is not a true reflection nor accordant with the modern mind, and it would have been incredibly difficult for Andy Gray and Richard Keys to continue with the broadcasting emperor.
The pair have since apologised profusely and have stated their main concern is for Massey to continue her fledgling career as she has experienced the misfortune of circumstance in a media whirlwind. The apology does not right their wrong, but it should have been the beginning of process of redemption. This scenario has however segwayed into deeper depths of enigma, and a sequel appears to be brewing – starring the same cast as the original.
Theories of a conspiracy theory are starting to erupt as it appears News of the World, another member of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, were tapping Andy Gray’s mobile phone. Unless BSkyB created an addendum to Gray’s contract, it seems a bit of skulduggery has fully warmed up and entered the playing field. Another red flag that needs to be highlighted is why the former pundits were not permitted by Sky to release an immediate public apology to Sian Massey, and all others who were offended by their archaic conversation?
Who has been leaking these videos onto Youtube? Who has been submitting the ‘off-air’ recordings? Why were News of the World, aka Rupert Murdoch, tapping Andy Gray’s phone? Why were they not allowed to publically apologise?
However these answers unfold in the following weeks, months or even years, it is important not to forget the core subject matter and that the former Sky Sports headline act were wrong. Public figures have a higher duty to uphold as their professional wisdom does leave a lasting impression with the next generation.
What this soap opera has managed to highlight is that football is ferociously male dominant. There are only 4 women officials throughout the entire football league, only 2 female FA councillors out of 102, and only 1 female board member across the FA, Premier League and Football League. The result of this may at least force football to reflect on the treatment of women, and develop an open mind when it comes to equality and diversity.
Til next week,