Karren Brady says that comments made by two Sky Sports presenters about female Premier League official Sian Massey made her ‘blood boil’.
The star of The Apprentice – who is vice chairman of West Ham football club – hit back after Andy Gray and Richard Keys agreed that female officials ‘don’t know the offside rule’.
The pair were recorded talking off-air as Liverpool FC visited Wolverhampton Wanderers, where lineswoman Ms Massey got one crucial, borderline decision spot on.
But Keys had said earlier: “I can guarantee you there’ll be a big one today. (Liverpool manager) Kenny (Dalglish) will go potty.”
Karren told Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It makes my blood boil, if I’m absolutely honest.
“What really upsets me is the fact that only females in our industry are judged by their gender. And that is categorically wrong.
“I am surprised they didn’t say ‘better go and get her to get the kettle on’,” she added.
The former Birmingham City chief executive disagreed the comments were ‘banter’, saying: “It never would have occurred to me that they had those views whether public or private and I’m disappointed.”
Richard Keys’ sister Susan phoned the programme to defend him. She said: “I know Richard inside out and he is surrounded by women, he’s got three sisters, a daughter and has the greatest respect for women. Perhaps we’re all getting a bit precious here.”
Kelly Cates, daughter of Kenny Dalglish, joined in the debate, leaving a message on her Twitter page. “Phew am exhausted,” she posted. “Just read about something called ‘the offside rule’.
“Too much for my tiny brain. Must be damaged from nail polish fumes.”