‘Sexist’ former owners lose tribunal

‘Sexist’ former owners lose tribunal

The former owners of Port Vale FC have lost a sexual discrimination case against a former member of staff, the Daily Mail claims.

The charges relate to the club’s former owners and Azure – the company that employed Miss Clay.

In a lurid article, the tabloid claims that sales manager Joanne Clay was sacked by the club for an alleged affair with striker Marc Richards – even though no action was taken against the player.

The employment tribunal ruled it was ‘striking’ that while she was suspended, investigated and then dismissed over the rumours, ‘no action whatsoever was taken’ against the player.

It also found that the Stoke-on-Trent club’s ban on relationships between employees and footballers was ‘a rule that is slanted against women’.

Perry Deakin was also accused of sexist language to Ms Clay but the tribunal accepted his denial of any such language. Sales manager Chris Bedding also denies claims made by Ms Clay.

The newspaper claims that Ms Clay is due thousands of pounds of compensation but with the former company that owned the club in administration due to its large debts, it is unclear how such payment would or could be made.

At the time of the allegations, the club was owned by the much-maligned “MOLD” board – Peter Miller, Glenn Oliver, Mike Lloyd and Perry Deakin. The quartet took the club into administration in 2012 and it was subsequently purchased by Norman Smurthwaite and Paul Wildes in November 2012. These allegations do not relate to the current owners.