West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady admits off-air remarks by Sky Sports presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray about both herself and Premier League official Sian Massey made her "blood boil".
After learning that Massey was an assistant referee in Saturday's clash between Wolves and Liverpool, Keys and Gray , who believed their microphones were switched off, concurred that female officials "don't know the offside rule", with Keys adding: "I can guarantee you there'll be a big one today. (Liverpool manager) Kenny (Dalglish) will go potty."
Keys also went on to remark on comments made by Brady in The Sun about the level of sexism in football by saying: "See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love." Brady responded on Monday by telling Five Live: "It makes my blood boil, if I'm absolutely honest."
She added: "Forget myself for a second, because what was said about me is a personal opinion and everyone is entitled to that. What really upsets me is the fact only females in our industry are judged by their gender. And that is categorically wrong.
She added: "I'm genuinely disappointed. It never would have occurred to me that they had those views, whether public or private.
"It almost makes it worse that they're speaking when the microphones are not on as opposed to when they are on, because (they have) never really had the brass neck to say it publicly, they would only say it privately. I have heard it and I don't believe it is just banter."
Top snooker referee Michaela Tabb has accused the pair of "basic slander".
Tabb, 43, who has refereed the World Championship final at the Crucible, said: "What they have done there is completely unacceptable because they have not given her her place at all as an official.
"They are basically doubting her ability. She has obviously passed every exam and whatever qualifications she's had to go through. It's basic slander, what they've done to that woman."
Sky Sports released a statement on Sunday night which read: "The comments are not acceptable. They were not made on air but we have spoken to Richard and Andy and told them our views and they have apologised and expressed their regret."
Exchange between Richard Keys, senior Sky Sports presenter, and Andy Gray, ex-Scotland international:
Keys: Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.
Gray: Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don't know the offside rule.
Keys: Course they don't. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny will go potty. This is not the first time, is it? Didn't we have one before?
Gray: Wendy Toms, yeah.
Keys: The game's gone mad. Did you hear charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah, do me a favour, love...
© Press Association