Feature / Football League

Late Kick Off, What’s The Point?!

So Late Kick Off has returned for its third stint on the BBC and many fans including myself will be wondering why?

It is quite strange that football fans had to make do without the Football League Show over the Christmas period due to apparent budget issue which was confirmed over twitter by Manish Bhasin, the host of the Football League Show. Then three weeks later another programme about the Football League hits our screens.

The regional hihglights package has returned. (Photo courtesy of bbc.co.uk)

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of watching Late Kick Off, it is basically the Football League Show with a few added features on clubs with some chat from “experts” that have something to do with the BBC region you are in. BBC commentator Guy Mowbary is the presenter for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and he doesn’t do a bad job although I wish I lived in the South West area that have the brilliant James Richardson as their host.

So as I tune in to iPlayer I was pleasantly surprised to see the BBC has actually got in some good analysts for the first week back on. Usually we have to deal with “great” former players John Hendrie (ex-Bradford City) and our former manager Andy Ritchie (despite that he loves Leeds and was a crap manager) who talk about their beloved clubs and dismiss everything else. But no the BBC had done well, getting on former Burnley and Scunthorpe boss Brian Laws and the recently sacked Phil Brown.

They started with a chat on Dean Windass who has recently come out as having depression and he nearly killed himself twice. Despite a good discussion it was rather too matey and included no new information.

Then it moved onto a feature on our Jordan Rhodes, ah yes that goal machine. Interviews with Rhodes, manager Lee Clark and Chairman Dean Hoyle again provided no new information for any Huddersfield fans or anyone who has followed the transfer saga that has surrounded him in these last few weeks. Jordan said he was just concentrating on his football, Clark reiterated he isn’t for sale and Chairman Hoyle said he would not be sold at any price. As a Huddersfield fan it is nice to have exposure but this was the same information that fans knew weeks ago and to finish the feature off with 2 clips from Saturday’s 1-0 win over Oldham was, to put it bluntly, pathetic.

I had to turn it off. If that is all the BBC are going to show as highlights from the game I might as well just watch the online highlights which the BBC provide on a Monday morning.

The BBC have seemingly missed a trick not only with the Football League Show (that’s another blog for another time) but with Late Kick Off. Why is a regional highlights show only shown for the second half of the season and why do they not show some more extended highlights but instead give mundane analysis to the goals fans have already seen if they tuned into the Football League show and the online highlights.

Also why do people want to watch two Barnsley players going head to head about random questions about their club. SHOW THE FOOTBALL!

The god of regional commentary, John Helm. (Photo courtesy of fifa.com)

Gone are the days when ITV ran their football league highlights show on a Sunday evening with John Helm when I was growing up. The first half of the show dedicated to extended highlights of one of the regions football league teams and then the second half showing the rest of the goals. Why couldn’t the BBC do this? If they could then add in the features and analysis then it could make for a great highlight package.

However, it seems the BBC may not renew the highlights due to the cost and the initiative of “delivering quality first” which is quite sad. Where will lower league football fans now go to see any action they have missed? More importantly the BBC are forgetting that there are more fans who follow the Football League clubs than Premier League ones so why prioritise such a large budget to Match Of The Day.

Only time will tell. Bring back Goals on Sunday that’s what I say. Oh how my ears miss the sound of John Helm’s commentary.


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