BBC stopping the classifieds
I can tell you from personal experience that some absolutely bonkers decisions are made at the BBC by management who have the unfortunate power to do so. Sadly, many of those people do not have the knowledge, skill or understanding to truly realise its impact (see for example the canning of current affairs series Inside Out in 2020).
Well, this is another one; the BBC has finally admitted that after six decades, the classified football results are no more.
Surely a big reason for football on a Saturday afternoon is to play out 90 minutes of football and afterward hear the scores. It’s like having the 10 o’clock news without any news; it’s a major reason why someone might choose to listen.
The rationale is partly I suppose we can all get the results on our phones - but this has been the case for 20 years, so why suddenly the change now? And also you know what’s really nice - going to the match, digesting the performance, getting in the car and listening to the other results come in.
Sometimes it’s good to listen to the radio rather than be constantly on your phone.
The actual reason is because Sports Report will now be shorter, meaning less time for the classifieds - but personally I would rather have less matey, clubhouse thigh slapping banter between ex-pros (Michael Brown) and reporters (poor old John Murray) who are clearly tolerating them and nothing more.
There was typically no announcement it was happening (maybe it was classified information) - the segment was simply dropped, suggesting BBC bosses knew it would go down like a special guest appearance by Mike Ashley in the ball pool of a nine-year-old Toon fanatic’s soft play birthday party.
However the worst - the very worst - thing about all of this is that I have found myself in uncomfortable agreement with none other than Nadine Dorries, who described it as a “bitter pill to swallow.” Now of course Nadine Dorries has served up so many bitter pills these last few years she could call herself big pharma, but that’s a whole different matter.
Amanda Staveley’s cheese board revolution
I’m paraphrasing, but in his book the Father Corner, Harry Pearson described Newcastle as a small club that happened to be supported by a lot of people.
Well, this week they really are sweating the small stuff. In a scarcely brie-lievable little yarn from their head chef Graham Proctor in the Athletic, he tells us how horrible big Mike was and how refreshing their new owners are - told through the medium of cheese.
“We use wooden cheeseboards and they all started breaking” he said. Now of course the first question we’re all asking here is why would you need them for Greggs cheese and onion pasties? Secondly, how on earth do you break a cheeseboard? Isn’t it just a lump of wood? Were fans assaulting horses with them?
We’ve got this big store on Level 4 (just below level 5 where the interrogation chambers are) and there were all these chairs stacked there with these little arm-tables on them, so I brought a drill from home, took the tables off and that’s what we started using for cheeseboards.
About two months ago, I had another conversation with the club and I’m like, ‘we need cheeseboards! This is shocking!’ They told Amanda Staveley and I got four grand for cheeseboards. That, to me, is progress.
I suppose if there is one club that doesn’t have a shortage of chopping blocks...
Are we witnessing the first example of cheesewashing? Those at the club might consider it progress. But do you know what isn’t progress? The human rights record of Saudi Arabia. Though that doesn’t make for a funny tale.
FA introduce new rules to protect heritage of clubs
It’s been a long, hot summer and the FA have clearly run out of things to do before the World Cup kicks off in November.
In a move to stop club owners from doing nasty things to club shirts and crests, the FA have decreed any changes must be done in conjunction with supporters. Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson would not, therefore, be allowed to write “UP THE BORO” on their 2022/23 kit release.
Makes sense I suppose, but ensuring the integrity of say Colchester United’s club crest comes just below the cost of living crisis for many people out there.
You might also wonder whether this time might be better spent on ensuring the integrity of football owners by beefing up the rules to ensure no crackpot crypto-loons, penniless fraudsters or snake oil salesmen get their claws into a club, before attempting to run it on fumes.
News In Brief
- Barcelona continue to bet not just the house, but its contents, the front and back garden, the driveway, garage and both cars and the caravan in Wales on success this season. However they’re at odds with La Liga as to their true income, who believe it is €150m less than the Catalan club say. Until there is a resolution, Barca are unable to register many of their new signings which would of course be a travesty.
- Sierra Leonean striker Mohamed Buya Turay missed his own wedding back in his home country as he had to report for pre-season training at new club Malmo. However, all was not lost as he decided to send his brother instead (to the wedding, not training).
- For some reason as yet unknown, the World Cup will now kick off one day earlier than planned on the 20th November - Qatar’s grudge match against Ecuador being the new curtain raiser.