The traditionally enlightened and unbigoted world of football was reeling today after two old blokes connected to the game were caught on tape deriding the idea of having female assistant referees.
Gruff nonsense-waffler Andy Gray and his hirsute sidekick Richard Keys wrongly believed their microphones were switched off during the Wolves/Liverpool game at the weekend, a circumstance that millions of people desperately wish for on a regular basis.
The clueless duo made assertions that females do not know the offside rule after witnessing an entirely correct decision made by milfy touchline flagger Sian Massey with Keys then stating ‘The game’s gone mad’.
Sky have imposed a one-match ban on the pair for tonight’s Chelsea game which will instead be presided over by stand-ins Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinum. The esteemed feminists have promised not to drool over Frank Lampard’s lovely thighs.
The situation could have been even worse for the shamed pundits but alas the audio recording of Key’s ensuing rant over ‘charming’ Karen Brady was cut off mid-sentence.
After asking Gray if he had seen the West Ham vice-chairman’s recent comments about sexism in the sport he splutters in exasperation ‘Do me a favour love’. Unfortunately the follow-on line ‘Make us a cup of tea’ wasn’t picked up.
The partnership of Gray and Keys in the gantry goes right back to Sky’s inception during the 1990s. A commissioning editor at the time was watching Every Way But Loose and liked the comic possibilities of pairing a man with an orang-utan. Their success is largely built on blindly worshipping any aspect of the best supported clubs, an ethos entirely shared by their employer, so consequently it is not thought that their careers will suffer too harshly for their ridiculous gaffe.
However, their punishment doesn’t stop at simply being prevented from kissing Drogba’s arse for ninety minutes tonight. They will also be forced to endure the full box-set of ‘80s series The Manageress, starring evergreen hottie Cherie Lunghi in a bid to change their archaic perceptions.
Reactions this morning from inside the game was unanimously one of shock and disgust.
Cockney rent-a-quote Harry Redknapp was predictably first to castigate the duo.
‘I am appalled at their comments. Football is undoubtedly one of the most liberal and tolerant industries going. Ninety per cent of the admin staff at Spurs is female and I don’t know what we’d do without them to be honest. Christ, even my daughter-in-law goes on the telly sometimes and doesn’t mention her Jamie’.
Ex-manager and pundit Ron Atkinson went further. ‘This is outrageous. I hope the pair gets sacked for this. Show me a football man who hasn’t got The Female Eunuch pride of place on their bookshelf and I’ll show you a fraud.’