Did David Tanner’s “Love Letter To Pedro” Get Him Sacked From Sky?

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Wow, this has been a day for smiles all round!

Fresh from my delight at Neil McCann’s childish gurning over yesterday, David Tanner has spoken to The Evening Times about what it felt like to be sacked by Sky, and he added the improbably glorious twist that he got the information in part from a text message … from our own Scott Brown!

Oh man, that is deeee-lish, like strawberry ice cream on top of green jelly!

Look, I am normally a very nice guy and don’t usually rejoice in seeing people lose their jobs, but like McCann this guy is not going to go hungry (well, McCann might when HMRC land on him with a demand that he pays back his EBT), and their time on Sky Sports Scotland dragged it down so low that BT Sport were somehow able to make their own show more relevant and interesting by hiring a couple of blowhards to slag each other off on the air.

Sky Sports Scotland has clearly taken a pummelling in the last couple of years, and Tanner was an obvious victim of that. He was the show-runner for long enough that he was an obvious choice and his pandering to whoever was in the Ibrox dugout, as well as his shameless and utterly undisguised dislike of our club makes him hard to feel sorry for.

Tanner described himself as “just a journalist who wears makeup.” With all respect to him (yeah, right) he’s not a journalist at all. They are supposed to be impartial and he never was, and never really made any attempt to be. He, and McCann, his pal and fellow show-runner, were a major annoyance to many of us on televised match-days

He could always be relied upon to find a negative, any negative, about our team. He stirred controversy where there was none. At Sevco matches he would be fizzing with delight if they were even a goal up at halftime and would ask loaded questions about whether the opposition would be too psychologically devastated to emerge from the tunnel. If Celtic were three up he’d invariably try to find something wrong with at least one of the goals, make some comment about the body language of certain players or suggest that a comeback wasn’t out of the question.

I may be slightly exaggerating, but you all know what I mean and you get tired of such one sided nonsense, over and over again.

Yet there’s something that has been nagging at me since I first heard that Tanner was no longer going to haunt our TV screens, and it’s this; was his dismissal from Sky anything at all to do with the scandalously unprofessional personal attack he launched on Mark Warburton on social media, or his sycophantic crawling up the backside of Pedro Caixinha?

In the Times interview he used the term “mutually consented” … a nice euphemism, and one we all understand in the context of football.

Something sure as Hell happened to get him sacked; he had been with Sky for 18 years. Was it that notorious Instagram rant that did it?

I wrote about that back in March.

I said it had scaled new heights of sycophancy and unprofessionalism. Perhaps his bosses agreed.

This was a so-called impartial journalist having a dig at an ex Sevco manager and climbing so far up the posterior of the new one that he could well have got stuck there.

In fact, had he simply “gone dark” at that moment I would have sworn that’s where he’d been for all these months.

His bosses must have cringed at such obvious slobbering. I wonder if that’s the point where they dug out his contract and said “Right, it’s due for renegotiation at the end of the season … he’s gone.” Even they must have limits.

Even they must have known it went too far.

Scottish sports journalism is in a frightful state at the moment. Tanner is just one of the reasons why, but it looks as if he’s done with the profession for the moment. Neil McCann has briefly swapped it for punditry. But for every one of them who goes a new one pop up – Kris Boyd, I mean Jesus wept; he has a tree sloth’s charisma and a jellyfish’s IQ.

I haven’t seen much of Hayley McQueen, his replacement, but her CV is rock solid and her knowledge of football is first-rate. Misogynistic claims that she’s been brought in to “glam the place up” are ridiculous; she is a top drawer appointment, and being a Manchester United fan she’ll bring some much needed objectivity to the role.

And that’s where Tanner was lacking.

This move might not have been a triumph for impartiality – there could be many reasons why he was binned – but it feels like one all the same.

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