AFC Wimbledon chief resigns after secret recording of sexist and abusive comments

 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

AFC Wimbledon’s managing ­director Danny Macklin resigned after a bug hidden in his office recorded his sexist and abusive comments about a female colleague.

Macklin described Rebecca Markham, who is Wimbledon’s head of supporter services and ticketing, as a “slut” and a “slag” and joked about assaulting her.

A covert recording device was placed in Macklin’s office at the Cherry Red Records stadium by Matthew Wells, a military veteran working as the League Two club’s security officer.

The recordings were published by the Times yesterday and came after Macklin and Markham publicly committed to tackling sexism as part of the ‘Her Game Too’ campaign in June.

In January, Macklin appealed to supporters not to sing sexist songs, saying: “The repeated use of chants that are not family friendly will prevent us from attracting new fans.”

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew (left) speaks with AFC Wimbledon managing director Danny Macklin (PA)
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew (left) speaks with AFC Wimbledon managing director Danny Macklin (PA)

The Dons announced at the start of this month that Macklin was leaving the club on September 8, but they did not disclose why.

A statement at the time read: “Danny’s time at AFC Wimbledon has provided the platforms and impetus for the club to continue its journey towards being successful and sustainable.

“We appreciate the hard work that he has done, as well as his commitment to the club, and wish him all the best for the future.”

Following yesterday’s story from the Times, however, the club issued a statement saying: “The club is aware of a report today in the national press about AFC Wimbledon and we therefore issue the following statement in response.

“AFC Wimbledon strives to be a responsible, inclusive and modern fan-owned club. As such, it takes its obligation to act properly and set an example, as well as its duty of care towards employees and fans, extremely seriously.

“Behaviour such as that being alleged was and is not tolerated, nor is it representative of the culture at AFC Wimbledon.

“Once we became aware of the matter we acted appropriately in accordance with our responsibilities and values to promptly resolve it. For legal reasons we are not able to say more.”

On the recordings published by the Times, Macklin was heard ­discussing how to get rid of Markham, who has also worked at Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham.

Macklin was heard saying: “I f***ing want to put her [Markham] through a f***ing window ... I’ve never wanted to kill someone, but I’d like to kill her. F***ing slut.”

He said later: “I f***ing hate her ... f***ing slag.”

Macklin, who was previously chief executive at Leyton Orient, declined to discuss his behaviour when contacted by the Times, saying: “For legal reasons I make no comment.”

Wimbledon are going through the recruitment process as they look for a new managing director.