Monday, August 06, 2007

Telegraph and sports comment

Rather disturbingly, the Telegraph's sports columnists seem to have had a rather bad weekend of getting things right.

Sue Mott started off on Saturday by blaming the alleged corruption around a recent tennis match on the practice of allowing "betting on losers in any sport" - which rather ignores the fact that tennis is one of those sports where by betting on one player to win the match, you are effectively betting on the other player to lose the match (as opposed to, say, football where you have the option of a draw). There maybe issues around the fact that Betfair effectively allow you to bet on a horse to lose, but this doesn't have anything to do with the tennis issue.

Patrick Barclay
manages the impressive feat of making two factual errors in two successive paragraphs. Firstly he repeats, with approval, Neil Warnock's comment that "Carlos Tevez, football's equivalent of a murderer out on bail, scored the goal that kept West Ham up and sent us down. So much for the integrity of the Premier League.'' If Warnock is referring to the goal Tevez scored at Old Trafford, he's talking rubbish. West Ham went into that game knowing that a point was enough to save them. If you're going to blame the result at Old Trafford, rather than the fact you lost at home to Wigan, then the anger should be directed at Manchester United's forwards for failing to score. Even if Tevez hadn't scored, West Ham would still have stayed up. (Incidentally, United were attacking the Stretford for the second half, and as they kicked off, the Stretford end chanted with one voice "Send them down!")

Barclay then follows that with the statement that all of the clubs in foreign ownership - but Fulham - have been taken over since the Glazers acquired Manchester United. This might come as a shock to Claudio Ranieri, who was sacked by Roman Abramovich a year before.

To be fair, he then makes an excellent point about the row over Thaksin Shinawatra's record, comparing it with the treatment Roman Abramovich received.

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