The BBC‘s decision to drop the 5pm reading of the classified football scores from Sports Report gets more baffling with every passing show.
With embarrassed bosses resolutely sticking to their foot-shooting guns, Saturday saw the scores remain absent for a second week, despite the outrage triggered when Sports Agenda revealed they had ditched a national institution.
The broadcaster claims that a reduced showtime of 30 minutes — thanks to them picking up the commentary rights to the 5.30pm kick-off — meant they did not have the time to designate the ‘five-seven minutes’ they claim it takes to read the scores.
The traditional reading of the classified football results has been scrapped by the BBC
Beeb bosses say the call had been made to save on time for their programming – but it gets more baffling with every show – it’s a shame they’re sticking to their foot-shooting guns
So what did we get instead? Premier League scores followed by no fewer than four-and-a-half minutes of former England team-mates and Aston Villa and Everton managers Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, along with analysis from Sportsmail‘s Micah Richards on a match that had kicked off four-and-a-half hours previously.
Host Mark Chapman made great play of the fact that all the results would be read out — as they were last week — at some point during the show.
Which begs the question, why on earth were they not just read out at the start, as they have been since the 1950s? For an organisation who love to chase their own tails, these were new levels.
At least it made for a decent gag when Chapman handed across to Brentford v Manchester United with the line: ‘Proving that not everything that is 74 years old has to be removed from Sports Report, here’s John Murray.’ (Murray is 55).
Match of the Day tried to make light of the fiasco by opening with clips of last weekend’s matches, along with the results read out with the inflections made famous by the late, great classified reader James Alexander Gordon.
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker (pictured) kicked off Saturday night’s show with last week’s results in a mickey-taking segment – not only was it not funny, it totally missed the point
At the end of the montage, host Gary Lineker quipped: ‘Just in case you couldn’t find the scores anywhere else last weekend.’
Not only was it not very funny, the mickey-taking segment entirely missed the point — the Premier League scores were read out first on Sports Report —…