Saturday, November 16, 2013

The worthless entity that is the Football League Show

Hello all

I want to start this entry with the very first thing that was said on the Football League Show back in August 2009.....

“Yes, good evening and a warm welcome to the brand new ‘Football League Show’ as we aim to bring you every goal across all three divisions. " - Manish Bhasin

Despite those ever so bold claims, the BBC have yet again failed to live up to them. They have decided not to have a Football League Show this week because there were no games in the Championship. Whilst it is not uncommon for the Championship to get larger coverage than Leagues One and Two, for the third time in quick succession the simple fact that the Championship wasn't active this weekend is enough to convince the BBC to not show the weekly edition of the poor man's Match of the Day.

Due to it being an international break, only games in Leagues One and Two were played, but apparently having 66.6% of the teams in the Football League playing isn't worth having an episode of The Football League Show. To put it into an even more ridiculous context, on the weekend of November 9th/10th, there was a Football League Show, that despite the fact that only the Championship played. So in other words, they are happy to show the highlights of all the divisions that played when the Championship teams have been in action, but as soon as they aren't playing then fuck the other 48 teams.

Imagine if Match of the Day has a full program of 10 games between the 20 Premier League sides, but Gary Lineker said at the beginning "There were many exciting, thrilling and controversial games in today's Premier League, but we are only showing games involving the top four as no-one beneath them matters." There would be an uproar because, at most, they would only be showing eight different teams, and therefore not the majority.

If the majority of the teams that you cover have played, then you owe it to those clubs to actually show the highlights of those teams. Don't get me wrong, if it was only a small number, i/e five games, then I and the majority would understand, but when 48 of the 72 teams do play, then you have no justifiable reason for not putting a show on, especially when you are happy to do it whenever only 24 teams play.

Then again, I'm not surprised given that the Football League Show has a reputation amongst fans as being very slack when it comes to doing their research, even when it comes to basic geography. In 2010 presenter Manish Bhasin said, and I quote, "Hereford made the short trip to Lincoln on Friday night." I'm not sure what map the writers of the show were looking at when they wrote that little nugget, but I assure you, Lincoln and Hereford are nowhere near each other and the drive between Lincoln and Hereford roughly takes three hours, and that is assuming you don't hit any traffic along the way. Based on that, I am not sure what scale they were using, but in no reasonable scale are Lincoln and Hereford close.

As you can see from the map, there are PLENTY of places closer to Lincoln than Hereford, and we don't class the majority of them as a derby, if we don't class Derby or Forest as a derby, why the hell would we class Hereford as a derby?

It's not just geography that they have got wrong though, it's simple facts. Here is one that they got wrong from earlier on this season. It's August and Portsmouth are starting life as a League Two club. Like the majority of people in the media, the FLS gets all giddy and starts treating them like they are something special, including making up completely bullshit facts to make them seem a lot more important than they are. In August Portsmouth had an attendance of 18,000odd, and according to the Football League Show that was a fourth tier record. It wasn't. I hate Hull but will happily defend that they comfortably beat Portsmouth's attendance when they were last at the level with numerous attendances of well over 20,000 -

This is also the same show that used to ask people to text/email in with their thoughts following their matches and they would regularly come out with golden and insightful comments such as "Steve, a Sheffield Wednesday fan, was unhappy that his side lost 6-0 today!" .... well fancy that, a fan being upset that his side lost 6-0. As ground breaking as that revelation was, are the Football League Show seriously suggesting that there were no comments that were a great insight into how a game went?

Chris Sutton or a BBC fuck up?
I'll let you decide
Infact, on the day Lincoln City were relegated I wrote in an email to The Football League Show, who had Lizzie Greenwood reading out the texts. I wrote a short three lines, basically summing up how gutting it was to be relegated and where it all went wrong for us.....within minutes I got a message back effectively mocking our relegation.

Fortunately they stopped all that nonsense.

Then we get onto Mark Clemmit, a sycophant who goes to watch a random game and spends 8/9 hours arse licking everyone around him, hoping to get a half decent interview with them, afterall, what sort of twat walks around with a camera at games trying to catch people out (self-mocking humour).

Don't get me wrong, I did used to like the "Potted History" section, but it quickly got very old. Unfortunately Clemmit's style is very much like a young children meeting his heroes for the first time.......but Clemmit isn't five years old and it comes off as strange.

He came to Lincoln City twice, the first of which was when Chris Sutton was appointed as manager, although the graphics team at the Football League Show obviously didn't bother quality checking the video package as our Chairman at the time (Steff Wright) was referred to as Chris Sutton in the graphics. It was really amateur stuff, it really was.

Then we get onto my final point. Steve fucking Claridge. Steve is generally disliked by the majority of
The Football League Show's relationship
with Steve Claridge
football fans. He is exceptionally dull, very rarely makes a valid point and is treated like a God by Bhasin when he is on the show. It got to the point that whenever Claridge came out of his numerous retirements, the Football League Show would actually go down and film his debut for his new club from the seventh tier of the non-League so that they could fill his ego.

No-one gives a fuck about Steve Claridge making his debut for Creek and Paddle FC in the Crapstone Faucet Company Division 6, so stop wasting the time of the people who watch the show and get on with the highlights of teams who you only show for five seconds anyway.

Let's not also forget the cherry picking of the aforementioned emails to find people who had asked him a question, just so he could talk about himself some more. "We have many emails here from fans up and down the country who has someone valuable to say, but first of all Michael from Castledon wants to ask Steve what his favourite type of cheese to push up his bottom is?"

Luckily, and now more regularly, they get Leroy Resenior in and he doesn't put up with people sucking up to him and actually know what he is talking about, unlike Claridge.

So, a few short but very important lessons for the Football League Show to learn

  1. The Football League consists of 72 teams, not just 24.
  2. Look at a map before you describe a match as a derby when the teams are at opposite ends of the country
  3. If you're going to put a graphic up with someone's name, put it against the right people.
  4. Do your research before you promote things as "facts"
  5. Don't pretend that all fans like Steve bloody Claridge

Seriously, get your act together. I could do a better job and I am armed with nothing more than a mobile phone, a laptop and ADOBE Premier Pro CS6.

Just for the record, here is the time that Mark Clemmit came to Sincil Bank to interview Chris Sutton for the Football League Show. What I especially love is after the match when Clemmit makes a big deal out of the DVD of the match and Sutton just puts it straight down in a "I don't really give a fuck" moment.

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