SKY Still Can’t Get Champions League Nights Right


Was it just me that watched SKY Sport’s Champions League coverage last night and thought ‘I can’t wait for them to lose the rights’?

Now I sat down excited by the prospect of seeing PSG take on Chelsea. But by the time kick-off had arrived I was on the verge of throwing my TV out of the window.

SKY and their pundits frustrate me.

Jamie Redknapp offers very little in the way on insight. He is basically ‘eye candy’. He gets more comments on his suits than he does on his analysis. Jamie is very wishy-washy and I tend to zone out when he gives his opinion. It is a shame because I actually think that Redknapp junior seems like a nice, funny guy especially when I’ve seen him on things like ‘A League of Their Own’ but as a pundit I just can’t take to him.

Glenn Hoddle says a lot without actually making a real point. I’m unsure if Hoddle is really relevant anymore and offers enough to merit TV time. The man does like a cliche doesn’t he? I am still searching for this forward Lukaka he was talking about. I’d have preferred it had SKY got Leonardo, Ruud Gullit or someone like Gerard Houllier.

I haven’t got many issues with Jamie Carragher. He probably gets dragged down a bit by those around him but most of us would in that situation.

The main problem for me was the fact that the research seemed to be nonexistent at times.

For example, some of the Zlatan Ibrahimovic chat was awful. For example Redknapp stated he’s talented but only shown it in ‘bits and pieces’. Eh no! The Swede has won league titles in Holland, Italy, Spain and France. He also has a bundle of cup medals in his bag too. Then there’s the little fact that Zlatan has 309 goals in 578 club career appearances. Ibra also has a wonderful record at international level with 48 goals in 97 caps. But according to SKY he hadn’t really arrived until the game against England in 2012 when he scored all four goals.

The concentration on Zlatan was also annoying. As we saw throughout the game PSG had other stars who should have got more of a mention. Yes they did talk a little about Edinson Cavani and how Chelsea could do with him but not enough about Ezequiel Lavezzi, Thiago Silva, Salvatore Sirigu or Blaise Matuidi.

The Zlatan interview was good but really it was just a rehash of the book. The montage stuff was decent but they are just arty fillers not anything of substance.

The way all the pundits had a bit of a go at Ligue 1 and questioning if it could hinder PSG was also a bit odd. The same questions aren’t asked of Bayern Munich or the Spanish sides even though they dominate their leagues too. Plus two of the English sides are out before the quarter final stage. They even went as far as comparing the pitches in France with the ones in England, as if players really take note of such things when being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds every week!

The problem is that even though SKY have had the rights for the Champions League for a few years now, they still indulge in the myth that the  English Premier League is the best and only worthy league in the world.


We had SKY questioning the views that the Chelsea fans would get at the away end in the Parc des Princes. Well it is what it is. Plenty of English stadiums have poor away ends but you never hear SKY bleating on about it.

Also very ironic that the commentary team described PSG as being ‘Nouveau riche’ when commentating on a Chelsea game, did I imagine the early Roman Abramovich years?

I know Gary Neville gets a mixed reaction but I like him and Martin Tyler on commentary. Though they do have too much bias for the English sides, accentuating the positives about Zlatan’s injury wasn’t very classy.  Oh and Martin they are Paris Saint-Germain or PSG not just Paris.

The build up was so bad I actually decided to switch over to Masterchef on BBC1 for a fifteen minute reprieve at half-time.

In 2015, BT Sport takes up the Champions League rights. I just hope by the fact that they already cover the French, Italian and German leagues that their research is of a much better standard than SKY’s. It would also be a bonus if they don’t talk drivel and they aren’t obsessed by the English sides either.

At around the same time as the game took place in Paris, UKIP’s (a right-wing political party) leader Nigel Farage was on British telly talking down Europe and generally spouting rubbish, he actually would have fitted in well in the SKY Sports studio with their pundits who seem shut off from the rest of the continent too!

Oh and when it was all said and done how did the questionable Ligue 1 side do against the magnificent English Premier League team? Yeah that’s right they won 3-1.

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