Saturday’s Hull vs Milwall cup-tie left over 50 seats in the KC Stadium in ruins. Many hundreds more were scuffed, leading to local hardware stores being overwhelmed. Yet the Match of the Day team have controversially refused to transmit the Disasters Emergency Committee Hull Crisis Appeal, reports Nigel Spickanspan
Speaking at a press conference, Gary Lineker said “We are passionate about defending Match of the Day’s impartiality. We worry that such an emotive and political story would compromise our commitment to kneejerk punditry, mawkish backslapping and the commodifying of football as light entertainment. We worry about being seen to endorse something which could give people the impression that we were backing one side. When in reality, even if we did show it we would much rather stick something like this right at the end of the show when most people have turned off in frustration at our tiresome ‘banter’ “.
The trouble started on Saturday started after Millwall fans took up residence in one of the home stands. Unconfirmed eyewitness reports have suggested that the charge began when a Hull ball boy accidentally tossed a finished Ribena carton in their general direction. The ensuing actions were considered wildly disproportionate, yet Mark Lawrenson refused to condemn the Millwall fans, suggesting that it was merely “boys being boys”, adding “Eee Gary, that’s the magic of the cup riot isn’t it? Fairytale stuff, gets the fans off their seats – even the prawn sandwich brigade, ha-hey! Anything can happen really, the form book goes out of the window”.
The lone dissenting voice came from Alan Shearer. When asked if he thought the very nature of an “appeal” meant that a degree of partiality was inextricable, or whether the BBC’s nature as a public service broadcaster necessitated a more sensitive treatment, or furthermore, whether the public can be expected to make a distinction between humanitarian appeals and perceived partiality during a conflict, the former Newcastle striker replied “Basically, what them Millwall fans have done is something bad, and nur mistake. They’ll be disappointed with that ah reckon. Ah think there’ll be aal harsh words from the FA, like”.
The BBC’s position has been further rocked by rival broadcaster ITV agreeing to show the appeal. Speaking on ITN News, Matt Smith said “This; is not….a political issue; moreover….it is a – HUMANITARIAN- cause. In the- face; OF ….immense human suffering in – Gaza – we have TO show…the appeal. Jon Champion is at the KC Stadium”. However, sources close to ITV Sport have revealed that despite Smith’s stirring words, they will actually only be showing highlights of the appeal, featuring post-production commentary from Jon Champion, who will doubtless scream each hooligan’s name as they throw even the weakest punch, in his ceaselessly desperate attempts to make humdrum events sound more dramatic than they are in reality.