Well done to The Celtic Star, who today published one of the stock replies which Sky Sports Scotland are sending out to our fans, who have written to them to complain about the toxic presence in the analyst’s box of Kris Boyd.
It is a woeful response.
It’s also patronising and insulting … but revealing about the stupid mentality which lies at the heart of so much football punditry; the idea that the former player has some special knowledge denied to the rest of us.
With certain players that might be true, but there’s a reason the vast majority of former pros don’t go on to broadcast journalism.
It’s worth picking through the reply one line at a time; the fan letter which prompted it can be read over on The Celtic Star and I recommend everyone go and check it out as well as their statement on it. It is far more worthy than the response it got.
“Thank you for your email to Sky Sports.
Sky use former players to provide that unique perspective only someone who has played the professional game can provide.
And there it is, right from the off, that discredited nonsense that former players are somehow more worth listening to than other analysts; the trouble with it is that it assumes that all former footballers are created equal, even those who needed their instructions written in crayon and explained to them 100 times.
Anyone who thinks that Boyd played the game with an ounce of tactical knowledge or understood any of that stuff never watched him and has certainly never listened to him. The man is a complete fool. He embarrasses idiots.
Putting Boyd on the telly proves the old adage that the complete works of Shakespeare are only a collection of random words put in order; in short, it looks so simple that it can give off the mistaken impression that anyone can do it. But the average guy in the pub is more knowledgeable about the game than this clown.
I am going to split the next paragraph in two, because both of the contentions in it need to tackled separately. Whilst the first is moronic the second is shameful.
At times this may mean some of their past allegiances become clear.
At times, yes.
But I’ve watched some of the former English players, and the likes of Carragher and Neville and Owen can be professional and if you switched on one of their games on an average week you wouldn’t even know they had past allegiances.
These guys are professionals in every aspect.
They do not grunt and gurn and sneer, or sit with their faces tripping them when their own team doesn’t win, or worse when ours does. Boyd’s “allegiances” are always clear.
He is nakedly partisan and shockingly biased. Everyone knows this full well.
We’re happy this is the case as long as all comments remain good natured and we’re confident that is the case here.
A despicable assertion. How in God’s name did the writer of that come to such a ludicrous conclusion? Not by any stretch of the imagination were those “good natured” comments; they were disgusting. Boyd apologised to McGregor. Celtic was outraged. Some in the commentariat were disgusted, although most of them kept their heads down.
Additionally, Sky are not in control of any comments individuals choose to make outside of our platforms, and unless we believe any codes of conduct have been broken, we have no reason to act.
The worst excuse there is. Are they actually trying to say that if Boyd had written something openly sectarian that they would have gutted it out and kept him on the air?
Are we to presume he can say and do whatever he likes elsewhere as long as he doesn’t do it on their airtime?
That is gutless and it is pathetic and I also happen to think it’s manifestly false.
My old man keeps reminding me that Jeff Sterling chucked it last year, he said out of loyalty to his sacked friends; they included the excellent Phil Thompson who had a million percent more about him than Boyd.
I suspect he was also pretty appalled by the rock bottom quality of the people Sky brought in to replace them … Boyd being amongst them.
In short, Sterling’s own sense of professionalism was offended by the gathering of goons Sky is assembling in place of those who knew what they were doing but quite possibly commanded too much money.
Boyd doubtless works much cheaper … but that proves another adage; when you pay peanuts you’ll get monkeys.
Except that’s an insult to primates.