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Northumberland FA bosses' position became 'untenable' after sexist remarks

The Northumberland Football Association has said the position of vice-president John Cummings became 'untenable' following his alleged sexist remarks towards a female referee.

Cummings, 77, is understood to have told Referee Development Officer Lucy May that "a woman's place is in the kitchen and not on a football field".

In October, Cummings was suspended for four months and fined £250. The Northumberland FA has now removed Cummings from his role as vice-president.

In a statement, the organisation said:

The Northumberland Football Association Board and Council has decided today after reviewing the case of its Vice-President John Cummings to have his Vice Presidency removed together with his connection to Northumberland Football Association.

The Council's decision to revisit the subject of Mr Cummings' sexist remarks directed at Lucy May were we felt a necessary, proportionate and correct response to concerns raised both within the NFA, our member organisations and the general public.

Our unstinting work in promoting and nurturing women's football as well as our commitment to wider issues of ethics and equality has won the NFA much praise and we are determined to protect that reputation.

The NFA prides itself on being a fair, democratic and ethical organisation and having listened carefully to a broad range of opinion has decided to take this decision.

We would like to thank Mr Cummings for his long service to the NFA but it is the view of the Council that his position became untenable.

NFA Chief Executive Clive Oliver said: “discrimination has no place in football”

NFA President Alan Wright said “the correct decision has now been arrived at”

The NFA will make no further comment on the matter otherthan to issue an unreserved apology to Lucy May for the distress she has beencaused by Mr Cummings remarks.

We wish to reiterate the NFA is totally committed to equality in every area of football and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

– Statement, Northumberland Football Association


East Coast: the facts and figures

East Coast train Credit: East Coast

Here are some key facts and figures about East Coast main line rail company.

It has been announced that a consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.

  • Passenger journeys have increased by 1.1m in the past five years.
  • Journeys between Scotland and London have increased by 23%.
  • Customer satisfaction has increased from 89% in 2009 to 91% in 2014.
  • Revenue has increased from £581.3m in 2008-2009 to £652.6m to 2013-14.
  • East Coast invested £48m since 2009.
  • The taxpayer has received £1 billion back in premium payments and profits.
  • In partnership with Network Rail, redeveloped Newcastle station through an £8.6 million investment
  • East Coast - based in York - employs 2,800 people based at stations, depots and offices from London to Inverness.
  • East Coast’s Highland Chieftain service is Britain’s longest single continuous train journey operating daily between London and Inverness, a distance of 581 miles, and taking 8 hours and 6 minutes.
  • Since the spring of 2011, East Coast has been recognised by numerous industry organisations, and the Company has been the recipient of 55 such awards

Virgin Trains and Stagecoach to run East Coast main line

A consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.

There had been speculation that French company Keolis and Eurotunnel had been chosen. The consortium will take over in March.

The decision marks the return to the private sector for East Coast, which has been run by the Department for Transport since 2009.

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