Thursday 25 April 2019

Match of the Day bosses deny cutting out Shearer's words to boost ratings

A leaked BBC recommendation that Alan Shearer's Match of the Day analysis be replaced by a ten minute montage of his goals has been rubbished by the football-based programme.

The heavily saturated document appears to contain the minutes of a meeting between two BBC people apparently involved in decisions, at a time when the scheduling of domestic games on other channels and European matches has left Shearer with little to philosophise about on a Saturday evening. In last week's show, the ex strike partner of Mike Newell was critically panned for spending 27 seconds running down a Matt Doherty throw-in during footage of Wolves versus Brighton & Hove Albion.

One of the BBC bosses, whose initials could not be made out in the text, alleges that showing a sample of Shearer's Premier League goals instead of hearing him speak would "at least be interesting", while the other person, whose initials could also not be verified, almost definitely responds "I've been waiting ten years to hear someone say that. Now, he scored 260 of the buggers, that must give us at least until the end of the season. You happy to tell him?" 

When approached with the stained evidence, the clearly ruffled boss who appears to make the recommendation distanced herself from it.

"Firstly, the tea or coffee or whatever that has spilled onto this sheet of paper discredits your insinuations completely as, frankly, this "document" looks like a delivery note from an online retailer I use, and secondly there is no question of Mr Shearer being interfered with. We are blessed to have on board, not only a legend of the game, but a genius armchair dweller who has been endorsing harassment in the workplace for years without a single word of complaint from the public".

When pressed that the reason no one has complained about Shearer's views is because the moment he goes to speak is the moment the public by and large go out to put the kettle on, fast forward the tv or fall asleep (only to be woken by the intrusive yelping of Jonathan Pearce), the BBC boss deflected attention to "the challenges we face with the habits of the modern consumer", which by the way wasn't a viable excuse when large chunks of football in the 80's was lost in a Jim Rosenthal-inspired stupor.

Shearer himself was available for comment on this story, and scoffed at suggestions he was feeling the pressure of his hefty salary having been made public in 2017.

"Alan Shearer didn't set the wages, all Alan Shearer can do is perform to the best of his ability for the Match of the Day football show", he said deadpan.

Asked whether MOTD's noisy neighbours, MOTD2, were now the established force due to more exciting games being played on Sundays, Shearer admitted to some envy.

"Time and time again, Match of the Day 2 has been big and strong and direct, and to be honest, they've bullied us all decade long - I've even bullied myself on occasion - and until we sort our fixture problems out, we're miles away from being compelling viewing".

For now at least, the format seems set to continue on the ailing show, while ideas for a Dr Who style regeneration to replace Gary Lineker - the fourth incarnation of original 60's host, Kenneth Wolstenholme - remain unfounded.


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