Andy Gray shown the door now throw away the Keys

by Ben McAleer

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Andy Gray’s sacking this evening came as a major shock to the football world. The Scotsman had been the face of Monday Night Football since the concept existed and a major player in the rise and dominance of Sky Sports the past few seasons. Some of his phrases have since become infamous from the moment he uttered the likes of ‘take a bow son’ and ‘you don’t save those’. Yet those will become a forgotten memory after the pundit received the sack Tuesday evening for both himself and Richard Keys sexist remarks directed at lineswoman Sian Massey during the pair’s “off” the air ‘banter’ about women and football during the Wolves – Liverpool match on Saturday afternoon. The final straw was revealed this evening as “new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour” surfaced following more comments Gray had made about Sian Massey and remarks he made towards co-presenter Charlotte Jackson.

With Gray let go by Sky, many asked what would happen to co-MNF-host Richard Keys and for a while, it appeared the presenter had gotten away with his comments following an apology he personally made towards Massey. However that could be about to change tomorrow (Wednesday) morning as videos of Keys ‘bantering’ with fellow pundits Jamie Redknapp, Graeme Souness and Ruud Gullit about an ex-girlfriend of Redknapp have begun to surface where Keys, presumably attempting to be ‘down with the kids’, continues to ask if Redknapp ‘smashed it’ (the ‘it’ referring to an ex-girlfriend of Redknapp) a move that Sky, and probably Louise as well, won’t tolerate following Gray’s dismissal from the confides of the pundits box.

Yet for all the comments Gray and Keys have made, the lineswoman at the centre of the row appears to reacting rather well to the entire fiasco as Massey recently admitted she has put the entire saga behind her and wants to focus on her duties as an assistant referee despite her forced withdrawal from the League Two encounter between Crewe Alexandra and Bradford City that resulted in a 2-1 victory for Crewe as the sexism row continues to escalate. Taken out of the game to prevent the officials being the focus of attention rather than the match itself, PGMO general manager Mike Riley was swift to point out that Massey will return to the game sooner rather than later.

So with the future certain for Gray and Massey coupled with Keys awaiting a punishment expected to be similar to of Gray’s, what happens to Sky now that its two key pundits are out of the picture? Keys’ replacement on MNF for the Bolton – Chelsea game, Dave Jones, held his own on the broadcast and would be the likely replacement for Keys but with Gray playing a major part during matches, his position may be a harder to fill. Members of Twitter have tweeted possible replacements around with former Football Italia host James Richardson the current favourite with football fans. Either way, the replacement for both Gray and Keys’ role has to be up to the challenge of headlining one of Sky’s flagship broadcasts.

I would like to conclude by declaring my admiration for Sky and the stance they have taken on the matter. Sexism has no place in football whether it is towards men or women. Both have equal rights to participate at any level within the sport and shouldn’t be singled out no matter what gender they are. I wish Sian Massey all the best in her career as an assistant referee and commend her for putting the events behind her so hastily.

Thanks to Ben McAleer . Check out Ben’s great blog at  The beautiful Game Weekly

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  • Big Fidge

    Two points
    1) It’s Andy Gray not Grey.
    2) They were not talking about Louise Redknapp, Jamie makes it clear that he ‘used to go out with’ the Louise they’re talking about.

  • Simon

    Fantastic title!
    But Big Fridge is right about those two points!

  • Ben McAleer

    Both points changed accordingly. I do apologise to the readers

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