“The Football League takes centre stage in this Saturday night highlights show, showcasing all the drama and all the goals from every division.”
That’s how the BBC describes their Football league Show, but if we’re all honest with ourselves, the show is fast becoming a bit of a farce. In recent week’s it’s become the lets focus on the top Championship clubs and Crawley and say sod off to everyone else show. I for one am at the end of my tether with it.
I realise that the Championship is going to be the league that gets the most coverage for obvious reasons; it’s the one that attracts the most viewers, but once in a while, how nice would it be if they shifted focus or they changed the timings of each league around. Instead of having the Championship top games on first, start with League One or Two, even start with one of the less appealing games of the Championship. What they seem to forget is that we want to watch our teams highlights at a respectable time, not 12:50am on Sunday morning.
Then you have the fact that they show the same old teams first each week. In the Championship we may as well all forget about the majority of games for extended coverage, we have to stick with Southampton & West Ham week in, week out. Once again, you can argue that it’s the most appealing game, but not when it’s a 0-0, I’d rather watch a 2-2 between two of the lesser sides, wouldn’t you? We then take a drop to League Two for my next point of criticism, the constant love in between the show and Crawley. Everything appears to revolve around the Red Devils at that level and I know nearly everyone is sick of it. Yesterday night topped it off for me, Steve Claridge coming out with a nonsensical comment along the lines of, “I know everyone is jealous of Crawley but…” For me that shows just how little attention he pays to the fans of League Two. If he actually acknowledged the fans, he’d realise we hate Evans because he is a crooked cheat who will stop at nothing to get his own way.
Then we have an issue that affects everyone, the timing of the show in general. I’m sorry, but 11:50pm on a Saturday night is just not acceptable. What’s even worse is that when Match Of The Day isn’t on, the Football League Show stays at it’s normal slot rather than being brought forward. In the event of an International weekend, they should push the Football League Show forward to the Match Of The Day slot and then broadcast The Non League Show in the usual Football League Show slot. The amount of viewers the two programmes would get would be a lot higher, a slightly radical idea perhaps, but one I feel can work and is certainly attractive to a number of clubs.
My final criticism is the amount of time that is wasted on pointless features. The show seems to have an abnormal obsession with showing each teams coaches pre match. You add all of this time up per show and you probably equate to around five minutes extra that could be spent on having extended highlights of a League One or Two game. I suppose they have made some small steps though, they got rid of the pointless email section and it’s a marginally better alternative to the previous ITV show, “The Championship.”
My final suggestion for them is this, the show is more often than not, 80 minutes long. This often means that there is a 45 minute viewing of Championship highlights and 15/20 minutes of the other two leagues. My suggestion would be have a featured game in each division. They want to provide fair coverage, then have one game in each league that has extended highlights. Whether this be a top of the table clash or the game with the most action in, that’s there choice. You have a 10 minute extended highlight game from each division, it leaves 50 minutes to do all of the rest of the action and offer some mindless analysis.
That’s my view on it, remember to follow me on Twitter, @NickDRFCMurphy