Blatant Leeds-Bashing Exposes Amateur Face of Sky Sports   –   by Rob Atkinson


Sky Sports resident has-been Don Goodman

Sky Sports resident has-been Don Goodman

No writer worth his salt – not even a humble blogger such as yours truly – rushes into print with a knee-jerk conclusion based upon sketchy evidence. So you may take it as read that I have ample justification for what I’m about to say. I can point to instance without number of the kind of thing that most recently happened in the live transmission of Huddersfield Town‘s home game against my beloved Leeds United – indeed, I’ve had occasion to mention it before in the course of this season so far.

So I am absolutely entitled to say without fear of contradiction that Sky Sports‘ coverage of Leeds is characterised by shoddy amateurism, blatant prejudice and a naked desire to cater, not to fans of the Whites, but to the large anti-Leeds constituency out there, who pay their subscriptions and want to see their most-disliked team properly hammered, on the pitch, off it, or ideally both. It’s a huge market of clueless haters – and BSkyB evidently know which side their bread is buttered.

The Huddersfield game contained all the usual ingredients; an undertone of desperate desire for United’s opposition to do well (typified by the rising cadence of anticipatory excitement if the home side managed a shot on goal or a dive for a penalty appeal); a less than sympathetic interpretation of the refereeing decisions on the day, the over-riding assumption being that Leeds got all of the breaks; last but not least, the presence of Sky Sports’ very own anti-Leeds hatchet man in Don Goodman, someone who can always be relied upon to see every facet of any game in a distinctly anti-Leeds light.

The game’s most notable early incident was a clash of heads between Leeds defenders Scott Wootton and Liam Cooper prior to a United corner. The incident was serious enough for Cooper to be knocked unconscious; Wootton fared better, but can hardly have been unaffected by such a harsh meeting of minds. Once Cooper had been replaced by Sol Bamba, with Wootton able to continue, the game proceeded. Over the remaining time in the first half, Wootton committed two challenges which were definitely late and inaccurate – not something we’re unfamiliar with, even when the lad’s head is as clear as it ever gets. Goodman was quick to criticise after the first foul, for which Wootton was booked. “Cynical”, he pronounced, making no allowances for Wootton’s legendary clumsiness or the quite probable after-effects of the Cooper incident. It was noticeable that a couple of studs over the ball challenges on Leeds by Huddersfield drew no criticism, just something bland along the lines of “no malice in that”.

Wootton’s second badly-timed challenge in quick succession had both commentators calling for a second yellow and United down to ten men. Technically, they had a point; the ref could easily have booked Wootton for a second time. But it’s just as possible that he was making allowances for the clash of heads incident, as well as the fact that, on both occasions, Wootton might be said to have been going for the ball, but simply not good enough to get anywhere near it. And the fact is that, seconds prior to Wootton’s second foul, there was a blatant push on Lewis Cook that went unremarked by the commentators and unpunished by the officials. Anyway, these things happen in football and the talking heads are extremely choosy about what they pick up on. Several agricultural Huddersfield challenges during the game passed by with no action from the ref and no adverse comment from Goodman. Late in the game, there was a blatant kick out at a Leeds player by one of the Tesco carrier bags – Goodman just mumbled something about frustration.

The biggest single example of frustration on the day, though, was Goodman himself. He was still whinging about Wootton’s presence on the pitch as the United defender played a long ball down the line, for Stuart Dallas and Chris Wood to combine before Dallas crossed brilliantly to put the first goal on a plate for Mirco Antenucci. A fine goal, which lacked any description of the build-up as Goodman was still riding his hobby-horse. When he recovered from the disappointment of seeing Leeds score, Goodman could only bemoan the fact that “Football is unfair, life is unfair.” So it is, and the very best of hard cheese. The fact is that this embittered ex-footballer only seems to see injustice when Leeds benefit from it.

For the rest of the game, the resentment about Wootton remained a theme, with the only variety provided by snide remarks about United manager Steve Evans being unable to predict his own future beyond the final whistle. Don Goodman’s contribution to a great day for Leeds and for the long-suffering United fans was to carp, moan, bitch and ultimately resort to needless speculation about the prospects of a man who seems to be relishing his task in the Elland Road hot-seat, as well as getting stuck into that task in his own inimitable style.

Ironically, there was scope for some really informed comment if the amateurs behind the microphones had only identified and acted upon it. Some robust challenges went unpunished in the game and, yes, Scott Wootton could easily have seen red before half-time. Most of the officials’ energies seemed devoted to off-field transgressions of the mildest variety. Antenucci got himself booked by taking off his shirt after the first goal, revealing a yellow undershirt with a birthday message on it. Players keep doing this, and they keep getting daft bookings for it. There’s little discretion for refs to do otherwise, and that’s a cause for concern, being ridiculous overkill on the part of the powers that be.

Similarly, the fourth official‘s  main preoccupation, so it seemed, was to stop Steve Evans celebrating after each goal. What a joyless, clueless, ignorant approach to running a game full of passion, commitment and occasional explosive joy. So what if Evans cavorts on the touchline? So what if Antenucci, or any other player, dispenses with his shirt after scoring? Nobody died, after all – and I’d rather see some of the studs-up thugs getting their rightful bookings than this pettifogging, spoilsport obsession with punishing people, simply for celebrating. These annoyingly-beige people might one day succeed in taking all the spontaneity and all the passion out of the game – and where, pray, will we be then?

This sort of arse-about-face set of priorities was and is something that commentators would do well to highlight, given their prominent public platform. But, no. They’d rather take the easy road of showing their true colours – i.e. anything but yellow blue and white when Leeds United are in town. It reflects poorly on Sky and their hatchet-men of choice; it shows them up in a distinctly amateurish and prejudiced light – and it’s happened so many times now that many Leeds fans I know have stopped even laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. They’re rightly annoyed that Leeds are singled out for such treatment – especially from a has-been nonentity like Don Goodman.

It would be wonderfully surprising and uplifting if BSkyB could eliminate this shoddy flaw in their production values, so that the commentary at Championship games might perhaps approach the quality and sheer professionalism that characterises most of their excellent football coverage. But I won’t be holding my breath. Leeds-bashing has long been a national sport, in the media and among rival fans – and Sky all too clearly have their markets to cater to, including that rather large anti-Leeds contingent I mentioned earlier. Still, it’s annoying for those of us who keep the faith and know that Leeds United is a proud and historic name still. And it’s a great pity that Sky, for all their glitz and gloss, continue to employ bitter little men with bitter little minds to sully that name where and when they can.

‘Twas ever thus though, way back to the days of the Don’s Super Leeds. It’s much more “in yer face” now, that’s the thing, with cameras at every game and Leeds-haters well infiltrated into every branch of the media. They should be aware though, that we know the bitter whys and the commercial wherefores of what goes on – and we won’t put up with it in silence. Certainly not on this blog – so think on, Goodman & Co. We’re watching you, so just mind your step.

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55 responses to “Blatant Leeds-Bashing Exposes Amateur Face of Sky Sports   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Alec Wilson

    Well after reading all that Rob, im going for a lie down, so basically some folk dont like us. Lol. 😈

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  2. Moyes in from 33s to 11/4 to be our next gaffer…stuff of nightmares mate!

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  3. Denis Burke

    Being a lifelong Terriers fan AND a long time Leeds fan I totally agree with almost everything that you have said.
    I used to go to Leeds Road and Elland Road alternate weeks when both were in the old First Division and must admit had more to celebrate at Elland Road than Leeds Road!!!
    Best of luck to ALL Yorkshire teams.

    Like

  4. Billy Number 4

    Did anyone else notice Simon Grayson on Sky for the Blackburn game. At half-time , when asked to comment on the first Blackburn goal , he let slip that both he and Scott Minto “jumped out of our seats” when that goal went in . Hmm . Well , thanks a lot Simon.

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  5. What a fantastic blog I could not agree more let them continue in blindness and show themselves for what they really are.pathetic ignorant and stupid.MOT my friends forever.

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  6. You are correct, I was getting the same vibes watching it, and wondering why I am paying a subscription to Sky for the privelidge of listening to his inept rambling.

    Goodman is from Leeds but was never good enough to play for the only Yorkshire powerhouse and has been bitterly resentful ever since.

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  7. Pingback: Blatant Leeds-Bashing Exposes Amateur Face of Sky Sports   –   by Rob Atkinson | Sports Droid

  8. In defence of Don Goodman. Don is a man lacking in talent, character or charisma. He is not very bright either. Yet, he has been given the opportunity of a public platform, and of earning a few quid. So he has to make the most of it. Without an objective cell in his brain, he talks popular cant. ‘No what a mean, bro’… Pay no attention to him and he will be dropped from the media. React to his crap and Sky will think it has a new, ratings boosting star.

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  9. Nail on the head mate. Me and my son been saying this for years the man only as one opinion and that is he don’t like us one bit.

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  10. Nice one Rob,your piece is so accurate,I’ve completely relived the whole match coverage,especialy the barmy 4th official leaping around like a demented ferret !

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  11. Ray Wormald

    Goodman has always been an idiot, viz on penalty appeal after Bellusci clearly got the ball, “that’s 50:50” what a buffoon.

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  12. Couldn’t have said it better!

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  13. I’m sorry rob just read and agree with everything you wrote but I have to say who the hell cares about Don Goodman or the other anti Leeds pundit Ian Holloway both were no good losers who can’t get real jobs in football
    Their issues being that Goodman wasn’t good enough to play for Leeds and Holloway just couldn’t handle his teams always getting beat by Leeds
    Truth is we are Leeds and the others wish they were Leeds we should ignore the bias attitude of useless hasbeens and focus on being the best

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  14. Same with the Blackburn game……. they were screaming for action against Murphy, for the clash of heads. Amateurs!

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  15. one-eye Leeds

    I love your articles Rob and read them slowly to savor your many excellent and often acid comments – ‘a has-been nonentity’ being my favourite today. Of course their bitterness just makes the win all the more joyful. Please keep writing these masterpieces Rob.

    Like

  16. woodhouse white

    I didn’t get that impression and the only reason the referee didn’t send wootton off is because he immediately realised there’d been a push moments before (in my opinion). it’s only testimony to the size of our club that the underdogs get preferential treatment?

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    • I’m glad I read the article as I thought watching the game on sky, am I the only one who saw the huddersfield player Push cook blatantly before wootton committed the second offence.
      Not even the commentator bothered to make a comment after seeing the incident so many times on action reply.
      This is not the first time that I’ve heard complete nonsense from Goodman.
      Shocking Co commentator.

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  17. Absolutely spot on. I have found a solution to this although with a slight problem. I turn the sound off the TV and listen to Noel on Radio Leeds. The only problem is that the commentary on radio is more ‘instant’ than the TV pictures which presumably go into space and back before arriving on my screen. So I know what is going to happen before it does. Still better than listening to Don Goodman’s blatant anti LUFC comments which go against all that TV commentators were supposed to aspire to – ie neutrality.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. bernard bourke

    Silly me i Thought you were all on about that bloke on that dancing program with bruce forsyth. i had to googly his name.can honesty say i have never heard of don goodman. he cant have been that good a footballer .MOT

    Like

  19. Luckily I have to listen to radio leeds, but never did like Goodman he scored some right pearlers against us . Good article Rob.

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  20. Absolutely no credit from anyone, apart from everybody in favour of Leeds, for going into the Kirklees Cup Final den of hatred and coming out with a totally professional 3-0 win, but all Scott Minto seemed extremely bothered about, was that Wootton wasn’t sent off.
    I am sick of Sky Sports substituting their less and less Premiership games, with more and more Championship games, many of which have totally disrupted Leeds season and most of the non-Leeds games are so boring to watch.
    The biggest pains in the backside are Sky’s very irritating, Leeds hating presenting staff and so-called pundits, who like you say have joined the very long list of Leeds haters, which has become a national sport and most of all, a side-line hobby, to make up for their very boring football clubs, which they all seem to support.

    Like

  21. Nice artical, Goodman is just bitter that he got turned down by LUFC as a youth player- you cant believe he’s from Leeds can you??? That said i find Birtles worse and that Hinchcliffe isnt great either.

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  22. Mark WestAussieLeeds

    We were lucky over here in the land of OZ as we had the international feed and commentary seemed fair.

    We still have a huge supporter base over here and a bigger hate base still which we love.

    Keep up the great blogs.

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  23. Great article. Could not agree more….I had a conversation in regards to this topic during the win over the dog botheres with my eldest son. We always seem to get unrewarded for our efforts on sky commentary and crucified for any minor incidents, the nail was hit on the head while mentioning the push on Cook just before Wootons late challenge the ref or commentator chose to ignore that one much to my annoyance, but I have to say it’s not sky who have done this to us the BBC usually do the same during any cup games and did for years…….bothered……..no……..we are dirty leeds, we are dirty leeds!!! Mot!! X

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  24. Rob, I’ve just looked at this Goodman’s pic and he looks just like Paul Reanys illegitimate son. I think we may be onto something here!

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  25. Does anyone really care about the opinions of a bitter twisted ex journeyman has been? I’m on Heather’s side, listen to Eddie Gray instead … far more knowledgeable.

    I hope you’ve sent a copy direct to Sky Sports and a personal copy for Goodman Rob.

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  26. I live in the west midlands now, so rarely get to any games. I used to get excited when i saw that Leeds were on sky, so I could watch them live. Now it depresses me unless the pub i go to has the sound turned off, you are 100% right about the biased commentary, and what makes it worse is the half-time analysis with an opposition based pundit, and either Peter fucking Beagrie or Ian Holloway, who always give such impartial refelections…

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  27. Sorry Rob, but I feel duty bound to correct you. Far from being a has been, my recollection of Goodman is a never was!

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  28. Thanks Rob, for putting down in words my thoughts & frustrations whilst watching the game.I wanted to ring Sky or better still,Mr Goodman during the game to express my anger at the biased nature of the coverage of the game & especially the ‘ Wootton’ debate.At least reading your blog & the number of supportive comments makes me feel that I wasn’t being a one club over sensitive Whites supporter.

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  29. patrick hogan

    I’ve thought this a while about Goodman. You can almost predict his anti-Leeds comments on incidents except if you’d scripted them they’d be far more intelligible than what he comes out with. It seems that he has now assumed Sky’s ‘Peter Beagrie’ role. They always employ at least one blatant Leeds hater at our televised games.

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  30. Mike Durham

    Don Goodman – a face only a mother could love and Peter Beagrie – a walking advert for condoms! Talk about the Z team!!

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  31. Who cares?
    We won
    Cellino’s toast!
    We’ve got Andy Bell from Erasure as our new manager

    Who could ask for anything more?

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  32. I am sure Don Goodman was proclaimed himself to be a Leeds fan back in the late 90’s when he scored the only goal for Wolves when they knocked us out of the FA Cup. There is a button on my remote, it is called ‘Mute’. Works a treat whenever we are on.

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    • I get what you mean about the mute button – I even have one myself, my TV is that cutting-edge and state of the art. But should we have to resort to this?

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  33. Spot on Rob, goodman and sky biased no question.
    BBC now going down the ‘United’ route also, funny thing is that now there is no Super Leeds in the prem our good friends Chelsea are carrying our bad guys mantle to a lesser extent.
    To have a sports story it seems sky and the bbc feel they need to have a conflict good vs bad, rather than simply love the game.

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    • I think that’s a hell of a good point, Jim. It could well be part of a general dumbing down that the media feel they have to provide panto villains and goodies, with their beloved “Nitid” on the side of the Angels, of course. There’s a whole new blog in that. Thanks 👍

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  34. Michael Cullen

    Could not agree more Rob this has been going on for years. Don Goodman is a serial offender along with others such as Paul Walsh who you have mentioned before. The faces of the pundits at full time was on a par with England getting beat in the world cup. They all seem to conclude if Leeds get any luck it’s like we’ve committed a crime or broke some law. Keep up the good work Rob, Love your articles

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  35. Easy cancel sky sports as I’ve done. I have the most expensive season ticket at Elland rd in the Bremner suite and like whenever possible to watch the game on a Saturday with a 3.00pm kick off told them what I think about changing kick off times and dates. Stick ya sky sports where the sun never shine’s.MOT

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  36. I can only dream of seeing us on the telly over here but if I did, the sound would be off and I’d be listening to Popey and Noel… “GET INNNNN”!!!!

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  37. Philip Daniels

    Another very witty and informative article Rob, i remember this idiot when he played for Bradford city, which was my hometown at the time but even so i ALWAYS preferred to travel the 10 miles or so to watch the only team worth watching for 200 miles in any direction at the time, and Leeds Utd were it, this bilious nomark never made it to the upper tiers and any team he played in that achieved promotion soon dispensed with his services, speaks volumes that, he is a grudge-bearer par excellence so eaten up with spite and envy his intestines must be a mass of ulcers, get over it you loser, one more point before i go spit, this creep actually wrote his biography and had the gall to title it THE DON, can you believe it Urrrgh.

    Like

  38. Don goodman is just a bitter man. We have more Important things to worry about to be honest. Great read as always https://roman853.wordpress.com

    Like

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