These are not good days for football journalists who like to be called investigative

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Transfer window times are when journalists and bloggers make prats of themselves, regularly touting stories of transfers, and trying to slide out of any responsibility by citing unknown overseas sources as the origin of the story – omitting to say that these self-same sources are often quoting the English newspapers and their multifarious blogs as the source at the same time.

But all that is mere background to the fact that football journalists continue to fail to ask questions on other serious and important matters in football, day by day.

Take for example (and it is just one example) Tottenham’s stadium.  There is a widespread reporting of Mr Levy’s recent comments that, “I should like to apologise to our fans and thank you for your continued patience. The response from those who attended the familiarisation event [on 15 December] was great to hear and reinforced our commitment to deliver an exceptional match-day experience for everyone. We shall now seek clarity in respect of building test schedules and test event dates and provide further information on these in the next two to three weeks.”

What the newspapers are not doing is ask “why?”  Why has the entry date been put back and back?  It was 15 September, then the end of October, then the end of December and now…

Of course the club aren’t going to say “Yes we cocked up mega big time and got it horribly wrong,” but isn’t that the sort of thing journalists are there to find out?  Were Tottenham trying to save a few quid by not using one of the major central contractors?  Who made the decision that has led to at least six months delay?

It is rather like the same journalists’ refusal to ask why there has been no VAR working in League matches this season, why there are so few referees that some have already seen the same club four times, and why if we have the best refs in the world none went to the World Cup.  And come to that why, no one questioned how the PGMO could claim to have an accuracy level of 98.5% in decision making, and that this would increase by a further 2% come VAR.

Some of the newspapers have reported that Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League, maybe next season, over the FFP situation following the Uefa investigation into the Der Spiegel allegations that the owners personally paid some of the sponsorship deals, which were already over inflated.

12 Replies to “These are not good days for football journalists who like to be called investigative”

  1. Sadly, a more accurate headline would have been “These are not good days for journalists who like to be called investigative “.

    The list of attacks and controls on journalists is a growing one as today’s ‘highlight’ demonatrates:

    The issue with sports journalism seems to be more one of self-censorship and nervousness to ever bite the hand that feeds it.

  2. The whole system from top to bottom needs to be restructured.
    But a lot in the game are busy getting their snouts in the ¥€$ trough so naturally they’re extremely unlikely to say ‘ you’re right we’ve been over indulging and now we are thoroughly ashamed.
    Tell you what we will change.
    All pretty unlikely
    Herbert Chapman’s ghost

  3. Tony – it would have been easier and wiser for you to have done a bit of investigative journalism of your own! Had you done so, you would have known that the construction managers for the whole project are Mace – one of the biggest and most successful construction companies in the UK. And you would also have known that the company specifically contracted to supply and fit the integrated safety systems is Tyco – a veritable, global behemoth in their field. So no……Spurs were not trying to save a few quid by not using one of the major contractors!

    As to why the stadium opening has been repeatedly delayed, the problem with fixing problems is that they can’t be tied to a schedule in the same way that a construction project can be from the outset. And that especially applies to this particular instance. The reason being that this stadium so technologically advanced. There are thousands upon thousands of systems and cables and connections. And all potential problems over the entire, vast area of the stadium have to be located and accessed and fixed and integrated and tested. And tested. And tested. And tested….

    That’s where Mace are at now. Getting nearer. But still unable to give a precise date.

  4. Jim it would have been, to use your own words easier and wiser for you to have looked up my previous full article on Tottenham’s construction issues, quoting as it did from Construction News (if I remember my source correctly) and for you then to reflect on the theme of my article, which was not what the cause of the issues were, but the failure of mainstream media to ask the questions.

  5. Gord if I may reply on behalf of Nitram, there is a technical problem that he and some other people are getting in relation to being able to post comments, and with my very modest help (modest given my technical abilities) we are trying to find the cause and thus the solution.

  6. To be fair Tony it’s a big ask asking Copywriters like Amy Lawrence or Barney Mmmmmm Ronay to conduct themselves like a professional journalist let alone an investigative journalist.
    That’s not the Copywriters’ job! 😉

  7. Gord/Tony

    As Tony says I am having trouble posting. My lap top never posts and my iPhone occasionally as you can see by Test 1.

    If you can see this it seems I’m having a spell in which I can post but why I still do not know.


    The funny thing about articles like this is by interpid investigative journalists (!) is that studies on this were all done back in the Victorian Age (it’s why the national lottery was binned etc.), it’s why they kept gambling distant from sport, why they had kick off times at the same time on a saturday afternoon, not the result of flatulent opinions but is wisdom that comes from knowledge, knowledge and wisdom that is apparently above the footy hack dwarves out there.

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