FA’s only female director says Scudamore should give his future ‘serious consideration’

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The only female director within England’s Football Association has implied the Premier League’s chief executive should consider resigning his position, with Heather Rabbatts saying the emails leaked to London’s Sunday Mirror highlight a “culture of sexism” within the league.

Rabbatts, an independent director within The FA, spoke our after the publication of emails from Richard Scudamore brought sexist remarks from the Premier League’s top executive to light. Describing woman as irrational during as exchange with a Manchester City lawyer, Scudamore labeled the Chinese government “clever” for population control policies that have led to infanticide and unreported births of female children.

Two days ahead of an audit and remuneration committee meeting that could decide Scudamore’s future, Rabbatts’ comments have increased pressure on the now embattled chief. From The Guardian:

Rabbatts, a former chair of Millwall and a former BBC governor, said that despite its commercial success the Premier League had abdicated its responsibility 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,” she added.

Rabbatts went on to call the need for a review “a matter of urgency” if the Premier League”s to improve accountability and begin addressing a culture that “demeans” women.

At this point, Scudamore’s removal seems a matter of time, but for anybody willing to chalk up the chief’s words as the mere  product of an email leak, Rabbatts underscores the attitude’s severe effect on how the league operates.

“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.”

On Monday, a committee comprised by Chelsea’s Bruce Buck (chairman), Stoke’s Peter Coates, Manchester United’s David Gill, and Blackburn’s John Williams will consider the recommendation it will make to the league’s 20 clubs. According to an administrator within The FA, Scudamore’s position is already considered “untenable.”

More from Rabbatts:

“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.”

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
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Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

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Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.