SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: Vain, smug, preachy and irritatingly verbose

Gary Lineker.
Gary Lineker.

Given the most recent news I might just boycott football TV shows this season, well those which don’t involve the peerless Gary Neville anyway.

What a complete and utter waste of big money spent on a talentless, smug, irritatingly verbose, preachy, thinks-he’s-a-lot-smarter-than-he-is, divisive character we were informed about this week.

I speak of Colin Murray’s appointment as the new host of Channel Five’s Football League highlights show on a Saturday evening, a programme that should be complusive viewing for those of us with an interest in the lower divisions.

Bizarrely-dressed host George Riley (an over-sensitive public figure as I discovered on social media) was bad enough last season, flanked as he was by some of the dullest, irrelevant pundits of all time. Yes, I’m talking about you Adam Virgo.

But Murray is a step in the wrong direction. If the intention was to hire a dominant personality in love with the sound of his own voice then congratulations. Mission accomplished.

But I know as fact most football fans are interested in goals, action and controversy. They don’t need Chris Iwelumo to channel his inner Alan Shearer and tell us what a good goal that obvious good goal was.

Murray was a dreadful host of Match of the Day Two. He was a dreadful host of Channel Five’s European football coverage. He will be dreadful again and no wonder the Football League clubs have apparently written to the broadcaster in protest at the decision.

All this recent fuss about football programme hosts has been baffling.

I don’t like Gary Lineker. He’s a tiresome champagne socialist, a man who thinks he’s helping to save the UK by issuing a few bland, ill-thought out tweets before disappearing on long, luxury holidays funded by a gullible BBC executive. Lineker needs a new gag writer. His punning is really quite pathetic on social media and on Match of the Day.

Of course his £1.7 million salary is grotesque. He reads an autocue, waves his arms about wildly, talks about his own playing days and that of his guests too much and conducts one feeble, fawning interview with a Premier League manager once a week.

But it’s a salary he was offered and would have been foolish to turn down. The fault here lies with the clowns who believe he is an essential part of a tired old programme.

I have never heard any football fan say he watches Match of the Day because Lineker presents it. They don’t. They want to see goals and action.

I’d watch Match of the Day if Colin Murray was the main presenter. I’d even watch it if Robbie Savage was the host.

I fast forward through the nonsense chat from Alan Shearer (an even more ludicrously remunerated pundit at £500k a year, or £250k for each insightful comment) and co every week anyway.

One day the TV companies will realise I’m not alone.