Jonathan Agnew carpeted by BBC after foul-mouthed rant… while Premier League go to extreme lengths to protect integrity of VAR operations
- Jonathan Agnew has been reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant
- Agnew took exception to a column by The Independent’s Jonathan Liew
- He then launched a foul-mouthed tirade in a series of direct messages on Twitter
Jonathan Agnew, the BBC’s voice of cricket, has been strongly reprimanded by the Corporation after an extra-ordinary expletive-ridden rant on social media.
The Test Match Special commentator took exception to a column by The Independent’s Jonathan Liew and launched a foul-mouthed tirade in a series of direct messages on Twitter.
Agnew called Liew a c*** at least three times in quick succession, adding: ‘I’m going no further on the advice of people I have heard back from who know you and think you are a c***. I know you are. Think on.
Jonathan Agnew has been strongly reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant
‘C***. You’re so strange I don’t know if you’d be upset to know those who think you are a c***. Or not.’
Agnew, who earns between £180,000 and £189,999 as the BBC’s cricket correspondent, has missed England’s first two one-day games against Pakistan owing to a planned holiday.
But in the week former BBC 5Live presenter Danny Baker was sacked by the Beeb for showing a ‘serious error of judgement’ over a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby, Agnew has escaped further censure.
Sports Agenda understands BBC bosses took action against Agnew before the direct messages were made public on Saturday, and spoke to the 59-year-old about the ‘clear standards of behaviour’ they expect.
Agnew has also written to Liew to apologise. Editorial guidelines warn journalists to be ‘mindful that the information you disclose does not bring the BBC into disrepute’ on social media websites.
Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC for a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby
In December 2018 Agnew told his colleague Gary Lineker to keep his political views to himself, adding: ‘I’d be sacked if I followed your example.’
He has also previously complained about being sent ‘vitriol’ on Twitter, adding: ‘What is the point of coming on and making a rude, inflammatory introduction? The answer is, there isn’t, unless you really want to cause trouble.’
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We don’t comment on individual staff matters but we take this very seriously and have clear standards of behaviour we expect all personnel to abide by.’
McLaren have caused a stir by dropping their paddock lunches, saving them an eye-watering £500,000 over the season. The lavish buffets, plus gratis drinks, acted as Formula One’s canteen for media and sundry hangers on.
But after a record £96million operating loss by their racing division last year, cutbacks have had to be made across the board, and the spreads are now reserved for team members and invited guests, starting at the Spanish Grand Prix.
VAR SECURITY CLAMPDOWN
The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of their VAR operations ahead of the major launch next season.
For test matches in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Hawk-Eye operatives and refereeing experts have been ordered to hand in their phones when they enter the chamber at the Stockley Park base.
The room goes into lockdown 45 minutes before kick-off and recording devices are placed into the ceiling to monitor all conversations.
Operatives are allowed to leave the room to use the toilet — but only at half-time and in the company of chaperones.
Hawk-Eye staff, who have no influence on refereeing decisions, have also been asked to reveal their personal club allegiances and are kept away from matches involving their own teams or closest rivals.
The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of VAR operations
Professional Cricketers’ Association chief executive David Leatherdale announced he will step down later this year, leaving the organisation rudderless at a time of great change in the domestic game.
Players remain concerned about the impact of the Hundred competition and want Leatherdale’s successor to fight their corner in any battles with the ECB.
Former chief executive Richard Bevan would be a popular choice, but has been closely linked with the equivalent role at the Professional Footballers’ Association.
Former PCA deputy chief Jason Ratcliffe was interviewed for the top job last time around, while Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies, has been mentioned.
Former England bowler Isa Guha, the first woman to join the PCA board, is another possible contender.
It is not only long-suffering fans who have to jump through hoops to satisfy UEFA’s vanity project of holding the Europa League final in such an inaccessible place as Baku, Azerbaijan.
Finalists Chelsea and Arsenal have to send representatives to a meeting in the host city next week, having been told by UEFA they cannot just catch up in London instead.
Clearly UEFA could not have predicted that two English clubs would reach the final, but picking a location they themselves admitted is probably accessible for only around 15,000 fans defies all logic.
Chelsea and Arsenal representatives will be sent to Baku for a meeting next week
Crewe have banned a book written by a supporter from being sold in the club’s store. Former Financial Times journalist Charlie Morris published Generation Game in April and sent a copy to Alison Bowler, the daughter of owner John Bowler.
It partially explores how a Crewe fan grapples with his conscience following the conviction of former youth coach Barry Bennell.
Morris criticises the club’s ‘cold lack of empathy for victims’ and wonders: ‘Could I continue to support this fallen club even though my family had followed it for 118 years?’
Alison Bowler, the club’s business operations manager, wrote to Morris: ‘We feel it would not be appropriate to stock the publication.’
Guests at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last Thursday were greeted by a slightly bizarre sight on their way to the toilets — Jose Mourinho.
The former Manchester United boss happened to be staying at the London Landmark hotel in Marylebone and was spotted in his casuals in a corridor outside the Grand Ballroom.
Jose Mourinho was spotted at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last week
FA Cup finalists Watford have not invited Graham Taylor’s 1984 side to this year’s showpiece against Manchester City on Saturday.
The class of ’84 are the only previous team in Watford’s history to reach the Cup final but their former players’ association have been told no complimentary seats will be available, although they had the option to buy tickets.
Watford put their decision down to a limited allocation. In the final, a Watford team owned by Elton John and containing John Barnes and Mo Johnston were beaten 2-0 by Everton.
A grand total of four people were sufficiently offended by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp describing his team as ‘f***ing mentality giants’ at 10.10pm after their Champions League victory against Barcelona that they complained to Ofcom.
Ofcom say they will ‘assess the complaints before deciding whether to investigate’.
Four people complained after Jurgen Klopp swore on live television at 10.10pm last Tuesday
Contributors: Joe Bernstein, Matt Barlow, Mike Keegan, Adam Crafton, Laura Lambert and Paul Newman
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