BBC are making significant changes to their flagship Sports Personality of the Year programme that turned into a shambles in Liverpool last year.
Not only did overwhelming favourite Anthony Joshua fail to make the top three, but the outside video feed to surprise winner Mo Farah back in London broke down because of a power failure just as he was about to make his victory speech.
Farah was so certain he wasn’t going to win that he hadn’t even bothered to make the trip to the Liverpool Echo Arena. Nor did Chris Froome, Jo Konta and Lewis Hamilton.
The BBC must be concerned that the public vote on the night is swayed too much by the prerecorded films of the 12 contenders and how well they come across in their live interviews – Farah’s children stole the show in his.
A minor sport campaigning for viewers to back their candidate can also be too influential, as shown by world superbike champion Jonathan Rea finishing second to Farah.
The Beeb are announcing their ‘new and exciting’ changes on October 2 in Birmingham, from where the 2018 edition is likely to be broadcast.
The Premier League are understood to have had a long list of 35 candidates to succeed Richard Scudamore as chief executive – English football’s most powerful role.
They have been whittled down to a short list of 10, who are due to be interviewed by the Premier League’s nominations panel, led by Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck. It is likely the panel’s recommendation will be put to the clubs at their next meeting in November at the latest.
The stakes have been raised ahead of Friday’s meeting to resolve a major obstacle to the Wembley sale – with the Football League wanting to invest their mooted £150million share through their 72 clubs.
FA statutes state that any FA surplus should be divided equally between the professional and amateur games. But senior Premier League sources were on Thursday querying the Football League receiving £150m from the proposed £600m deal. They say the FA rules give no clarity as to how the professional game should divide their money and that the FL are jumping the gun in claiming they will be entitled to £150m.
An FL spokesman said: ‘The EFL remain of the strong view that an appropriate proportion of any proceeds generated from a potential sale of Wembley should be provided to EFL clubs to develop facilities for the benefit of the community.’
Astonishingly, there is still no answer from Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis about whether he will take up an offer from AC Milan. Asked why he has already given Gazidis over six weeks to make a decision when other club bosses would have wanted an answer in 24 hours, all Arsenal chairman Chips Keswick would say is: ‘People are people.’
The Premier League may be waiting for FIFA to come up with their full reforms to regulate agents, starting next season. But West Ham co-chairman David Gold went on the attack after Thursday’s PL meeting, saying: ‘They are starting to run football. They are certainly sucking tons of money out of football. Everybody else is against them, they do nothing for football. The FA is certainly in line with our feelings that something has to be done.’
Some of the suits at the Premier League clubs meeting raised their eyebrows when Manchester United managing director Richard Arnold arrived wearing jeans and white trainers. Arnold explained he was in the process of moving house.
Even a memorable Test series against India, culminating in the fairytale Oval Test for Alastair Cook, hasn’t persuaded Yorkshire Tea to renew their ‘official brew’ partnership with the England team. Instead, they are diverting their support to the Chance to Shine charity.