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Richard Keys on Sky Sports exit | 'It was a set-up, of course it was'

Richard Keys has spoken about the incident which led to his Sky Sports dismissal, and that of And...

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

15:44 24 Jan 2021



Richard Keys on Sky Sports exi...
Soccer

Richard Keys on Sky Sports exit | 'It was a set-up, of course it was'

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

15:44 24 Jan 2021

Richard Keys has spoken about the incident which led to his Sky Sports dismissal, and that of Andy Gray, ten years on.

It is a decade since Keys and Gray were sacked from the channel, after being recorded making sexist remarks towards assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis (then Massey) in 2011.

Keys, for his part, was recorded saying "[somebody] better get down there and explain offside to her”.

Further videos of the pair, and Gray alone, emerged - with comments of a similar ilk.

“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,” Keys told The Athletic.

Richard Keys on exit

Keys believes that it was a campaign against the two presenters.

“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.”

Keys was not happy with the advice he received from the Sky Sports communications team.

“I was being fed a huge amount of guff from our press office.

"They were really drilling me with the sort of things I should say. It was largely, ‘Say sorry, keep saying sorry, you can’t over-say sorry’. Well, actually, you can.”

Keys and Gray bumped into Massey-Ellis at Birmingham Airport, an incident which even seasoned screenwriters would balk at.

“We all laughed, she was a little embarrassed.

"And Andy had to explain to her, ‘It was absolutely nothing to do with you. It really wasn’t. So don’t ever think that it was’. It was nothing to do with Sian.

"We don’t blame her at all. She’s been fantastic. The smallest things, she gets right. She has been brilliant. And I’m really pleased she’s gone on to make a mark.”

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