David Pemsel has resigned from England's Premier League two months before he was set to assume the role of CEO, after leaked failed sex texts he sent a young, female junior coworker at the Guardian surfaced in the Sun.
The Sun's article about the text messages, in which Pemsel — who is married — appears to repeatedly proposition his uninterested colleague, has since been taken down. In an article about Pemsel's resignation published Friday, the Guardian cites “allegations” about “his private life” as the reason for him stepping down.
Screenshots of the alleged texts sent between Pemsel, 51, and the “twentysomething” female employee at the Guardian were also published on the right-wing blog Guido Fawkes (which appeared to be down at the time of publication after too much web traffic).
Alleged screenshots of texts sent from Pemsel appear to show him pressuring an uninterested coworker into a sexual relationship
The screenshots obtained by Guido Fawkes show a screen's worth of texts reportedly sent between the two on Friday, September 6 and Wednesday, October 23. In September, Pemsel appears to respond to something the coworker says with “Well I'll pick a restaurant that makes a dress like that mandatory to get in ! You be stubborn and I'll be persistent xx [sic]”
According to the screenshots, the coworker responds “Hmmm x” and Pemsel says “Can i say I've been quite persistent .. for 3 years … 🤗”, to which the coworker says, “You've also been married for a lot longer than that! Xx“
In the following texts, according to Guido Fawkes' screenshots, she agrees to “discuss it” with Pemsel, but says she is “not going to change my mind,” and Pemsel appears to continue to try and persuade her. A message starts with “I'm struggling to understand why,” but is cut off by the end of the screenshot.
“I suggest we kiss and see what happens,” Pemsel says, according to the screenshots, and she replies, “I suggest this is a bad idea.”
Pemsel also reportedly asked what would be happening if he wasn't married, and the coworker says, “I don't know but you are so there's no need to explore that.”
The screenshots also showed Pemsel saying, “God this is tough going … you could say 'you're a wildly hot (older man) so it's obvious',” to which she replies, “Haha sorry xx”
Pemsel, who was CEO of The Guardian for more than 8 years before being tapped to lead Premier League, will be replaced at the publication by interim CEO Anna Bateson, Guardian Media Group announced Friday.
The Premier League will continue to be led by its current interim CEO, Richard Masters. In November 2018, longtime Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore stepped down.
The top level of England's football leagues will now need to pick another replacement candidate.