Mark Higgins, Employment Law Partner

It has been reported in this morning’s Manchester Evening News that Vicky Kloss,Manchester City’s chief communications officer, was stopped from entering the players tunnel after yesterday’s FA Cup clash at Notts County because she is a woman


The complaint of sexism, made by City executives against Notts County officials singularly fails to take into account the fact that the rule is in place for a very valid reason. The players tunnel gives direct access to changing areas where there would be a possibility of men visible in a state of undress.

Turning the no-female policy on its head, one could argue that had there been no ban in place, Notts County, or for that matter, individual players, might be vulnerable to accusations of indecent exposure or sexual harassment should they inadvertently reveal themselves to a female who happened to be passing by. Surely, the sensible thing for Ms Kloss to have done would be to call or text Mr Heggie and ask him to come out to meet her.

It is grossly unfair to lay any blame on the security guard who, after all, has been told to enforce a set of rules. He cannot be expected to assess the rule for its potential discriminatory effect on the presumably very rare occasion he is called upon to enforce it. As far as he is concerned, the rule exists to protect the dignity of both males and females alike.