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Just why am I paying for so many BBC staff to live it up in Russia at the World Cup?

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 26 June 2018

ITV is a commercial network and covers the World Cup well enough. So why does the BBC need to bid for matches and cover it at all? Its remit should be high quality public service broadcasting not competing against commercial networks – using taxpayers cash – to show commercial propositions? But okay, we do not live in a low tax libertarian paradise, so there has to be BBC sport. However…

Just why on earth do we need such a huge variety of highly paid experts to be flown out to all parts of Russia to be paid large salaries, wined, dined and housed all on the taxpayers tab. Could not the studio guests be in London? 

In the interests of equality, virtue signaller Gary Lineker is joined in the studio not only by a range of has-beens from the men’s game but by some has-beens from the English women’s game too. Just how do they add any more insightful commentary? And would their observations on VAR or Gareth Southgate’s tactics be any less worthwhile were all the pundits back in blighty?

And then all the different BBC channels TV and radio all need their folks there on the spot. Some of those reporting for the more obscure channels know less about football than the Mrs who has, at least, been to a couple of real games and knows that West Ham won the FA Cup in 1964, the Cup winners Cup in ’65 and the World Cup a year later. Even the Mrs can see through talking heads on the obscure channels who know nothing at all.

Sometimes the experts forget who is watching or listening and discuss what a great old time they are all having.  They forget that folks back home who earn a fraction of what the BBC stars pick up, are picking up the tab for the whole great circus.  As ever the case for privatization grows ever stronger.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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