Biased BBC

Jamie Ward celebrates his goal in front of the pigs

Jamie Ward celebrates his goal in front of the pigs

Being a provincial out-of-towner, I get rather excited when the Blades play live on Sky as this often affords an opportunity to watch them in the pub. However, due to the paucity of drinking/watching partners in London, I resigned myself to listening to the Steel City Derby on BBC Radio Sheffield. Those of you familiar with the station will be well acquainted with ‘Football Heaven’, presented by Paul Walker and Seth Bennett, which provides excellent coverage of South Yorkshire football with Keith Edwards providing his expert opinion on all Blades-related matters. After the match, the traditional ‘Praise or Grumble’, in which disgruntled fans will moan for 3 seconds before being cut off, provides further entertainment.

Anyway, it turned out that for some contractual reasons, Radio Sheffield’s coverage of the game was not broadcast over the internet. Therefore, I had to listen to Radio 5 Live instead.

What a mistake. The main commentator (don’t know who he is) was joined by Chris Waddle, a former Wednesday player who is now best known as the punchline in a Fast Show sketch. And what bias! The whole match was “Sheffield Wednesday have been playing the best football”, “Sheffield Wednesday are really dominating the match”, “Sheffield Wednesday are REALLY good in bed” etc etc etc. It was ridiculous and disgusting. At half time, Waddle declared that Wednesday had “dominated possession.” However, the BBC website’s stats had the possession listed as 52% to United against 48% to Wednesday. How that can be interpreted as Wednesday dominating possession I do not know!

Anyway, the Blades won in the end (despite Wednesday pulling 2 goals back after half time), so all is good. However, 5 Live cannot keep getting away with this sort of skewed commentary. Thankfully, I could listen to Radio Sheffield after the match ended but if that hadn’t been the case I’d have considered withholding my license fee. Seriously.


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