Keys claims he was the victim after quitting as Sky Sports anchor

Richard Keys again claims he was the VICTIM after quitting role as Sky Sports anchor 10 years ago following sexism scandal alongside Andy Gray… and insists he will ‘never ever put away that anger I carry in my back pocket’

  • Richard Keys resigned from his position as Sky Sports anchor 10 years ago
  • A day after colleague Andy Gray was sacked, Keys decided to leave his job 
  • The pair were caught in a storm after off-air comments directed at female assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis
  • After the leaking of three more videos, the pair had quickly left the company
  • Yet Keys says ‘it was a set-up’ and talked of double-standards within football 

Richard Keys has staunchly claimed he was the victim after his role in the infamous Sky Sports sexism scandal 10 years ago which resulted in his resignation. 

Keys, who had fronted Sky’s Premier League coverage for nearly 20 years, resigned in January 2011 a day after colleague Andy Gray was sacked, as the pair were caught in a storm which started with comments about female assistant referee Sian Massey (now Sian Massey-Ellis). 

Following the leaking of three more videos, one of which Sky labelled ‘inexcusable’, the pair who made their name as the face of the broadcaster’s football coverage had left and in an interview with The Athletic, Keys – now working for beIN SPORTS in Qatar with Gray – still believes he was the victim. 

Richard Keys (right) and Andy Gray (left) left Sky Sports in 2011 following a sexism scandal 

The original story came after off-air comments directed at female official Sian Massey-Ellis

‘The incident, we should have seen coming,’ he says. ‘It was a set-up, of course it was. But they made capital out of it.’

‘Don’t forget, neither of us were caught behind an open mic. What happened to me was recorded on a telephone in that studio, it seems to me it was done with a specific purpose. 

‘Andy wasn’t live when he was stood pitchside… that anger that I carry in my back pocket, I will never, ever put away.’

The pair fronted Sky Sports’ coverage of live football for 20 years before they left their roles 

The original story came as a Mail on Sunday investigation revealed an audio tape of Keys and Gray talking about Massey-Ellis and female assistant referees off-air, during Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Wolves on 22 January 2011. 

Keys was recorded saying: ‘Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her (Massey),’ with Gray replying: ‘Yeah, I know. Can you believe that? Female linesman. Forget what I said – they probably don’t know the offside rule.’

Keys then stated: ‘Course they don’t’ and Gray responded: ‘Why is there a female linesman? Somebody’s f***** up big.’ 

Keys did later phone Massey-Ellis over the weekend and apologised for his comments. 

Gray was also recorded off-air talking about female officials with reporter Andy Burton

Another leaked video showed Gray and Keys making inappropriate comments towards Charlotte Jackson off-air

Then, following a video of Gray talking to pitchside reporter Andy Burton at the same game referring to Massey’s looks, as well as a video of Keys and Gray using inappropriate comments towards colleague Charlotte Jackson during a recording the previous month, the pair were out the door. 

Keys, now 63, also made reference to what he claimed was double-standards, after former Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore was at the centre of a sexist emails scandal in 2014 but did not leave his role. 

Scudamore apologised for his ‘inappropriate’ comments’, calling them an ‘error of judgement’, but Keys was in a state of shock that he kept his job. 

Keys and Gray now front beIN SPORTS’ coverage of football and are based in Doha, Qatar 

Keys could not believe Richard Scudamore kept his job after a sexist emails scandal in 2014 

‘How he (Scudamore) ever got away with that, I will never know,’ Keys added. ‘His use of language and phraseology was as bad as Donald Trump before he took office. 

‘Once again, football went, “Richard’s made a nice few quid for us all, we can look after him” and, “It was something that happened privately.” Well, so it was in my case! 

‘My god, it could not have been more private. It was my workplace. My domain! What Richard (Scudamore) said and did blew us out of the water! And everybody’s forgotten!’   

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