Under-fire Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino hit back last night as he issued a statement denying he was sexist.
Cellino had come under the spotlight during the employment tribunal hearing of Lucy Ward this week as she successfully won a case of unfair dismissal.
During the case evidence was given that Cellino had suggested the best place for women was ‘in the bedroom’ and not in football.
Cellino denied making sexist comments and defended his record of championing female sports teams in America.
And he insisted that it was ‘worth noting’ that he employed a female barrister at the hearing which was held in Leeds this week.
During the hearing, Lucy Ward criticised Cellino’s treatment of her.
Here is the statement issued by Leeds United in full: “At an employment tribunal this week regarding a former Leeds United employee, the tribunal chairman wilfully chose to publish to the attending press hearsay evidence of an alleged conversation between Mr Cellino and a third party, in which sexist remarks were alleged to have been made by Mr Cellino.
“Mr Cellino was not in court, nor was he a party in the case. However, Mr Cellino categorically denies making the statement, which has since dominated the media coverage of the hearing, and would like to make it clear that such a statement does not represent his views of women in football whatsoever.
“This is exemplified by the fact that Mr Cellino, during his time as owner of Italian club Cagliari Calcio, was the owner of two highly successful female football teams in Florida, USA, for over 10 years.
“Furthermore, Mr Cellino currently operates an employment policy at Leeds United where females make up the majority of the club’s long-serving senior management staff.
“It is also worth noting that Mr Cellino appointed a female barrister to defend Leeds United Football Club at this week’s hearing.
“Mr Cellino is horrified and disgusted that the witness statement was made public to portray him in a light entirely detached from the truth.”