SPORTS AGENDA: Michael Vaughan’s late Covid-19 test his latest lockdown woe

More lockdown issues for Michael Vaughan. 

Last month, the former England captain was given a dressing down after he posted a video on Instagram of himself and Phil Tufnell having a chat in Vaughan’s bedroom at the hotel within the biosecure bubble — a clear breach of protocol.

Vaughan was also missing from BBC’s coverage of day one of the second Test against Pakistan, after being forced to follow Covid-19 protocols after a trip to Northern Ireland.

Michael Vaughan was a notable absentee for part of England's T20 fixture with Australia

Michael Vaughan was a notable absentee for part of England’s T20 fixture with Australia

And last Sunday he was absent from England’s T20 fixture with Australia, only appearing on the TV broadcast six overs into the second innings as he was stuck in the Ageas Bowl car park awaiting his Covid test result. 

‘Now we have a special guest,’ remarked co-commentator Isa Guha of his eventual arrival.

The BBC say Vaughan joined the team as soon as he received his test result and then played ‘a full role in the broadcast.’

Amazon deal spells decline 

Amazon’s new contract to broadcast rugby’s Autumn Nations Cup is causing concern among administrators in all sports despite the welcome addition of another major player to the TV rights market.

The retail giant have agreed to pay £15million for the rights, around half the value of Sky Sports’ previous deal to televise England’s autumn internationals. Sky showed little interest due to concerns regarding the competition’s structure and uncertainty over the venues and participants, with Georgia replacing Japan at the last minute, thus allowing Amazon to seal the rights on the cheap.

Amazon will broadcast 14 of the 16 matches, with Ireland’s games against Wales and Georgia to be shown exclusively by Channel 4, in a deal which indicates the value of sports rights has collapsed. 

Amazon’s first foray into rugby demonstrates their opportunism as they intend to use the tournament to promote their Black Friday sales during November.

Footballers coin ‘Having a Harry’ phrase 

Premier League footballers have coined a new phrase. 

‘Having a Harry,’ referring to when one player suffers an unfortunate episode, after Manchester United captain Harry Maguire’s troubles in Mykonos. 

‘Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were both referred to as “having a Harry”,’ a source at one top-flight club explained, after the pair’s antics in Iceland.

The new ‘having a Harry’ phrase refers to when a player suffers an unfortunate episode like the Manchester United captain (pictured) had this summer following his arrest in Greece

John Motson misses first day of the season after a fall 

Veteran commentator John Motson missed the first day of the football season since God was a little lad, after he broke two ribs falling down the stairs at his Hertfordshire home last week. 

The 75-year-old is recovering but it is understood it will be some time until he returns to full health. 

Motty is winding down commentary but is still a regular on talkSPORT.

Legendary football commentator John Motson is recovering after breaking two ribs in a fall

Legendary football commentator John Motson is recovering after breaking two ribs in a fall

Shane Warne’s bizarre Mr T comparison 

Sports Agenda has already questioned the wisdom of Sky Sports flying Shane Warne 12,000 miles during the pandemic to commentate on a few matches. 

The validity of the move should again be questioned after the Aussie saw fit to compare chain-wearing Jofra Archer to A-Team character Mr T.

Sky Sports’ journalist wins few fans

Sky Sports’ Rob Dorsett won himself few fans in Iceland with an online moan about his experiences covering England’s trip to Reykjavik. 

Dorsett started by whinging about the five-day isolation those travelling had to go through before the game, saying the hotel restaurant and gym were closed and claiming that all of the local cafes were too busy to deliver food to him and cameraman Scott Drummond.

He then wrote: ‘Most Icelandic people we have come across are scared of us — we obviously look ‘foreign’ and they back away.’

‘Utter nonsense,’ said one member of the media who was in the city for the game. ‘We had no issues with the locals who are among the friendliest people in Europe, and no issues getting food and drink.’

Interesting season opening day for talkSPORT 

An interesting opening day for talkSPORT. Sam Matterface and Clive Tyldesley were both on air following ITV’s decision to replace the latter with the former as No 1. 

Meanwhile, the start of Newcastle’s 2-0 win at West Ham was missed when the line dropped. Technical issues are thought to have been to blame.

Radio station talkSPORT missed the start of Newcastle's win over West Ham on Saturday

Radio station talkSPORT missed the start of Newcastle’s win over West Ham on Saturday

New book on England legend Paul Gascoigne 

Journalist John Richardson has written a book on Paul Gascoigne which includes contributions from the likes of Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Bryan Robson. 

One of the many revealing tales in Our Gazza, however, surrounds the player’s first agent, Alastair Garvie. 

It emerges that Garvie, a former Newcastle assistant secretary who was instrumental in Gazza’s British record £2.2m move to Spurs, was later dropped by the player — and ended up working as a lollipop man.

Journalist John Richardson has written a book on England legend Paul Gascoigne (pictured)

Journalist John Richardson has written a book on England legend Paul Gascoigne (pictured)

Dumbing down of Radio 5 Live continues

It looks like the dumbing down at BBC Radio 5 Live continues apace. 

The excellent Alistair Bruce-Ball is the latest casualty, having been shunted off the popular Saturday night 606 phone-in to make way for Robbie Savage. A ludicrous decision.

The BBC say Bruce-Ball ‘remains an integral part of the 5 Live Sport commentary team’ and will continue to host the Fantasy 606 podcast. 

BBC chasing their tails

At least Sky sent someone to Iceland. BBC Sport, who didn’t deem the Harry Maguire story important enough to despatch a reporter to Greece, were left chasing their tails with no one in Reykjavik when the Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden scandal broke. 

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘Covid-19 means we have to cover stories in the safest and most effective way possible. We provided extensive coverage of both stories, including an exclusive interview with Harry Maguire.’

BBC were left chasing their tails when the Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden scandal broke

BBC were left chasing their tails when the Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden scandal broke

Expect more expletives at Beeb seminar 

Column readers will remember the story of the BBC Sport employee, who was so outraged at the broadcaster’s use of the N-word in a news story that they sent an expletive-laden email to other staff, senior management and the director general.

The worker claimed that offence could not be taken at the swearing given that the Beeb had deemed it fit to use the most insulting word of all. They added that, if they could afford it, they would have resigned from their job.

Now, all staff have been told attendance at a Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) steering group webinar, at which the member of staff will be speaking, is mandatory. It has not gone down well among some, who feel they are being dictated to.

Only Crystal Palace charging outrageous deposit 

No other Premier League clubs plan to follow the outrageous lead of Crystal Palace, who are charging elderly fans concerned about Covid-19 a £200 deposit to defer their season ticket until next year under a shameful ‘save your seat’ policy.

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