London: The English Premier League is to hold a meeting Monday where it will discuss the conduct of a chief executive caught up in a sexism row.
Last week Britain`s Sunday Mirror newspaper published leaked private e-mails sent by Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore in which he made crude references to a woman colleague and also included jokes about "female irrationality".
Since then Scudamore has faced a torrent of criticism, from both inside and outside football and, at the weekend, the Premier League was forced to insist it did not have a general culture of sexism after Rani Abraham, the woman who leaked the e-mail, said she felt "humiliated, belittled and disgusted" when reading the messages.
Abraham, who worked as a temporary personal assistant for Scudamore, told the Sunday Mirror: "This is not the sort of thing that goes on in offices these days."
However, a Premier League statement said: "We do not recognise this characterisation of the working environment at the Premier League, nor do we believe that it can be supported by the facts.
"The chief executive has already apologised for any offence caused and a proper review of all the evidence is now under way within the Premier League`s established and rigorous procedures.
"This process is not yet concluded and it is therefore not possible to offer comments in detail at this stage. However we will make a further statement in due course.
"The Premier League continues to be fully committed to treating all staff fairly and on merit, regardless of gender."Scudamore has faced calls to quit with Heather Rabbatts, the Football Association`s independent board and one of the most senior women in English football, saying he should consider his position in light of "growing evidence of a closed culture of sexism" at the Premier League.
Abraham defended her conduct in leaking private correspondence by saying: "Mr Scudamore has a huge amount of influence and is paid a vast sum of money and has behaved wrongly.
"Having witnessed that I felt I had a duty to speak out.
"And for those people who`ve attacked me for saying they were just `jokes`...how would they feel if those messages were written about their wife or girlfriend or daughter?"
FA chairman Greg Dyke, while calling Scudamore`s comments "totally inappropriate", has said the governing body will not take action as they don`t consider private e-mail comments to amount to professional misconduct.
But, with title sponsors Barclays Bank voicing their concerns, the Premier League has announced its audit and remuneration committee will meet on Monday to consider if Scudamore should face disciplinary action.
The four-man panel of Bruce Buck, the Chelsea chairman, David Gill, the former Manchester United chief executive, Peter Coates, the Stoke City chairman, and John Williams, the former Blackburn Rovers chairman, agree he should, can make a recommendation to all 20 English top-flight clubs.
They in turn would have the final say over Scudamore`s position at the Premier League`s annual general meeting on June 5.