"These days, it's virtually a given that an analyst – or even a presenter – will come with pre-existing allegiances that they will make no attempt to suppress.
"[I]n the intensely tribal world of club football, allegiance often goes much further than self-identity. In an environment where everybody is convinced the media has an agenda against their club, there seems to be an expectation from fans – and occasionally from clubs themselves – that ex-players should use the media to openly advocate for their club, as a sort of unofficial mouthpiece.
"[T]here are some honest-to-God real problems in football that we need to talk about... But these are questions that often don't fit neatly into a tribal discourse, that don't translate into a viral video on the BT Sport Twitter feed, that strike at the very fundamentals of the game and often affect its most powerful stakeholders. The hope, perhaps, is that if we're constantly being encouraged to turn on each other, they'll never get asked.
» Read the full article at The Independent
Reader Comments (41)
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1 Posted 19/05/2019 at 08:00:20
2 Posted 19/05/2019 at 11:27:40
There is a massive problem of bias in the media, that really equates to propaganda towards certain clubs. It does matter, and it matters a lot, because as always with propaganda it is a distortion of the truth.
It's an extremely irritating issue when even though you can try to avoid reading or listening to the media drivel, it's impossible to avoid people generally who have been exposed to it and regurgitate it. So you have to listen to people spouting shite, most of whom seem to have little awareness of history.
Vincent Kompany has said that City's achievements are upsetting the established order of things in football. I agree with him in the sense that City's style and panache truly reflects the 'beautiful game', football how it should be played as opposed to the baser and more workmanlike version from most other teams in Britain including the likes of Liverpool. But City's style certainly does not prevent the continued biases we see, an apparent reluctance to recognise the difference in quality and status between them and all others that their style reflects.
City remind me of Everton in the late 60s, a brand of football unequalled in this country. Like them, the recognition of it in many parts of the media has been scant and reluctant, and very irritating to Evertonians of my vintage.
3 Posted 19/05/2019 at 12:21:25
4 Posted 19/05/2019 at 12:42:54
5 Posted 19/05/2019 at 12:44:46
I just hope Spurs do the footballing world a favour and beat them in the Champions League Final and maybe (though not likely) they'll shut the fuck up for a couple of months.
6 Posted 19/05/2019 at 12:53:30
7 Posted 19/05/2019 at 13:03:38
That City fan, is correct, but hes playing right into the hands of many delusional Liverpudlians, and he should have just celebrated his teams fantastic achievement.
The media are in-charge though, but the boot is definitely on the wrong foot so to Speak!
8 Posted 19/05/2019 at 13:23:32
9 Posted 19/05/2019 at 13:37:16
10 Posted 19/05/2019 at 13:48:54
11 Posted 19/05/2019 at 14:30:55
Stan @2, with you 110% there mate, it is so annoying, especially for us, as most of the pundits are of the RS persuasion, you shouldn't have to turn the sound off or down because of those gobshites. It is encouraging in some small measure that the City fan has brought this up, but doubt if anything will ever change, or be done about it in the near future either.
12 Posted 19/05/2019 at 20:25:40
John (10), yes I accepted, last night or about 2-00am this morning, that we had played in all white because the fella who asked me knows his stuff, and I suggested maybe they tossed up to decide who played in those colours.
Derek (11), yes its strange how you can remember with certainty many things but have no recollection of others.
13 Posted 19/05/2019 at 20:46:46
14 Posted 19/05/2019 at 21:26:20
In the end most pundits say what the producers tell them to say and the big reason they talk about Man Utd, RS and others is they have biggest following abroad. And those fans abroad also want to see guys from "their" teams talking about "their" clubs.
And MotD etc make big big money from selling PL programmes abroad.
So expect no change and when ya realise the reasons behind it, it is just another example of a corrupt and stacked PL.
15 Posted 19/05/2019 at 21:32:43
We played in all-white.
Obviously I wasn't at the game but a mate of mine who's a few years older was and he often asks anyone who's prepared to listen, "What colours did we play in?"
I've seen many a fanatical blue look at him quizzically and say "Blue, what do you bleeding think?"
He'll then say, smirking, "No, all-white!" Still makes me laugh, though.
16 Posted 19/05/2019 at 22:27:20
There does seem to be a small ground swell of awareness now to the rs infiltration. We've been saying it for years obviously, but we didn't count, we were not a sky darling and the rs infiltration just called us bitter.
City have broken the spell but are the 'wrong manchester' team. We need to break the self imposed spell ourselves. If WHU ever did something (Ha) they would be the 'wrong London' club.
17 Posted 19/05/2019 at 23:20:20
18 Posted 19/05/2019 at 23:25:53
If you don't like certain pundits then put your fucking mute button to good use.
19 Posted 20/05/2019 at 02:16:35
Because in an honest moment they were both stellar teams. And that two horse race was a good one. It was news, and it's their job to analyze the big games and stories.
I do think there's a fairly obvious bias towards the rs in the English media. It is what it is, it drives me nuts, and I don't have to live with it every damn day.
But I have to agree with Ste. If it bugs you that much, have a bitch, or implement the button on your remote that says mute.
I do wish the pundits paid more attention to the "other" teams. Here in America you only hear about the top teams. I'd like them to analyze why Fulham had such a crap year, why Southampton avoided the drop, and yes, why Wolves were so successful. Hell, how about talking about the job the Fat Spanish Waiter did with dysfunctional ownership and no real money at New Castle? It's part of football, and for me it's just as engaging as Man City's superior season, Man U's "fall", the rs's season, all of it. More coverage of the entire league would be welcome.
England seemingly hires a hell of a lot of pundits from the rs and Man U. They need to hire more pundits from other clubs, and I think you'd have more balanced coverage.
Kyle Martino, Robbie Earl, Robbie Mustoe, Warren Barton, etc., do a really good job over here being very balanced and fair. I do indeed see way more bias in England. Little comments, digs, the blatant excitement for a side, it all rears its ugly head when I watch / listen to the English coverage. Don't know why, but I do believe it's very real. And I have a barometer to check it against over here.
20 Posted 20/05/2019 at 03:32:35
I've never seen MOTD in any other country but England.
21 Posted 20/05/2019 at 06:40:04
Mercifully it doesn't matter a jot!
22 Posted 20/05/2019 at 07:53:44
The fawning commentators and boring stereotypes we have here in Britain are just bigger names.
It is a shame that BT Sport now share people from BBC as the tv rights have been carved-up but the lazy broadcasters use the same old faces as the status quo is maintained.
23 Posted 20/05/2019 at 08:35:17
As for the articles insinuation that the trend is mainly about masking broader issues; nah, it is simply that tribalism has never had as much commercial clout and the media will always go with what is popular with the masses.
24 Posted 20/05/2019 at 08:39:01
25 Posted 20/05/2019 at 09:05:57
As for for pundits, no real football fan needs them,we mostly understand football and dont want “professionals” giving us their opinion biased or otherwise. Looking at the vastly overpaid smug Lineker is more than enough for me on the rare occasions I watch MOTD and that goes for all of the others.
26 Posted 20/05/2019 at 10:28:32
Some of the reds though make sense: Carragher talking about a mental issue with Everton against the big boy's - that's spot on (although slowly changing under Silva). Souness is often spot on too as is McManaman; because sometimes the truth hurts.
It's the papers and online reporting that gets me. Recently the Mail had a spread on how harsh losing the league was on LPL and the headline ' Now go and conquer Europe'. Disgraceful bias and totally disrespectful to Tottenham.
I'm sure if spurs do beat them, there will be a petition to replay the game.
27 Posted 20/05/2019 at 10:31:48
Commentators/Pundits have lost the art of commentating on the match they are watching, making trivial comments about games they remember in the past. Dig up Ken Wolstenholme, Im sure hed do better than Martin Tyler whos sell by date is long gone along with Geoff Stelling.
28 Posted 20/05/2019 at 11:47:20
One eyed monster. I dont expect much except a little balance. It runs deeper than just commentator bias, during the final game of the season we had twice as many efforts on goal as spurs, both on and off target yet the match of the day coverage did not reflect this stat. A bit to much of big brother for me particularly when you consider the BBC is a publicly funded organisation.
29 Posted 20/05/2019 at 12:28:15
30 Posted 20/05/2019 at 12:41:00
31 Posted 20/05/2019 at 13:29:35
Being blessed with the talent to play football professionally and being able to offer an insight into what happens behind the scenes at a football club is one thing, but truly understanding the game is not something that even the best players necessarily do. There are many fans out there who truly study the game and, I'm sure, could do a better job of communicating their opinions to viewers. Let's face it, a former player's ability to communicate seems to have little bearing on whether they're employed as pundits (Andy Townsend, Martin Keown, Michael Owen, I'm looking at you!)
32 Posted 20/05/2019 at 14:35:46
“Why do all these dickheads have to discuss the match for an hour after it's finished?”
33 Posted 20/05/2019 at 15:26:16
Picking up a different point. Can you work out how long it would be from public statement to sacking if Leon was openly anti-Liverpool and questioned Barcelona's bottle and that was why they lost or punched the air after 0-0 at Goodison and said it is now City's title to lose and that is 29 years and counting. Serves them right for Hyssel and stopping Everton conquering Europe.
So do measure it in milliseconds?
34 Posted 20/05/2019 at 15:51:52
35 Posted 20/05/2019 at 16:02:20
It's bad enough having to listen to some of them doing commentary during the game, one of the worst of them is Gary Neville.
36 Posted 20/05/2019 at 20:03:00
Fair enough. I did try to add to the discussion above and beyond the mute button, but point taken.
Eddie @ 22 -
Once you get a taste of the USA coverage, it's really obvious watching English coverage in my opinion. Our coverage is so much better on the whole. We're very fortunate. Robbie Earl is generally fantastic with Everton in my opinion. He's often stated how big a club we are, and how we simply need to demand and aspire to more success.
37 Posted 20/05/2019 at 20:21:22
Young lad down our street (natural born Kopite winder upper) rode up and down on his bike after City beat Leicester shouting "You fucking dancer, Kompany"
One of those rare moments when you wished Carragher was a neighbour.
38 Posted 20/05/2019 at 20:45:03
39 Posted 20/05/2019 at 20:58:50
I live in Canada and they have ex Premier League players for pundits, who seem more normal with their comments on the games shown while trying to give an honest assessment on the games.
Regarding your comment on the Premier League games being carved up to various media coverage, in Canada we had nearly every game that was played on the weekend and Monday showed by TSN. They have now lost the rights to the Premier League and we will have to pay DANZ in America to stream the games.
40 Posted 20/05/2019 at 21:29:47
When City made it four at Brighton the kid was off, screaming his head off and punching the air in delight, and probably telling everyone he was an even better dancer than Kompany!
41 Posted 28/05/2019 at 17:26:23
Will get shot down in flames here but if it goes tits up a certain event will be brought back into the lime light to deflect the defeat away, will say no more, but sure most Evertonians will know what I mean, freedom of speech a thing of the past, but mark my word, if it goes tits up, we will be the blunt of their anger.
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