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May 6, 2011


Sky Sports presenters get a bit of stick – and they certainly get plenty of slap too – but they do serve a purpose. They gave the nation two scapegoats of Biblical proportions, simultaneously exposing the sexism of modern TV and striking a blow against rampant Murdochracy.

Now there’s a more subtle lesson being taught. Fans of Derby County, Leicester City, Liverpool: ever wondered about the strength of your club’s brand? Forget absurd preseason tours and sponsored bookings (West Ham, we’re looking at you here). How will the branding experts in expensive suits and cheap club ties affect your club’s league position?

Probably, in the case of those clubs named who have undergone intense re-branding exercises recently, not too much. But Sky Sports face Simon Jones has pointed up a dividing line, an equator below which fans’ skins will catch fire and the tar in their ships will melt.

Jones’ Twitter avatar recently underwent a redesign of its own. Where once the face of the ex-Blue Peter mic-manner looked out over the badge of his beloved Norwich City, his chin is now free of canary. Was it a coincidence that the badge disappeared while Norwich were in the process of getting promoted?

And as a digression – these Twitter avatars with tiny club badges on them that are still instantly recognisable. Let’s spare a thought for the effort and man-hours put in over the last century so we know that ‘@Abz201’ is a Bury fan.

Anyway, it’s clear – for one broadcaster, at least, there is only a possible conflict of interest as regards Premiership clubs. Good news for Robbie Savage.

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