Sky left searching for caveman to club around with Keys
Published 26/01/2011 | 05:00
For 17 years Andy Gray was part of the television landscape. For most fans, his mix of breezy analysis and brisk footballing opinion was hard to fault.
The fact he is not a particularly nice bloke is irrelevant to his abilities as a broadcaster.
The comments that brought about his downfall were not in the same league as those of Ron Atkinson or Jonathan Ross. Boorishness should be no barrier to employment, otherwise much of the male population would be in trouble.
Though there are wider conspiracy theories centring on his suing of the 'News of the World', it is most likely that Gray has been sacrificed by Sky for public relations reasons. At a sensitive time for the corporation, with a takeover under intense scrutiny, he was most likely removed from the front line to stop an inevitable firestorm of negative headlines.
The action, however, leaves a gaping hole at the heart of Sky's football coverage. Where else is the hairy Richard Keys going to find a like-minded caveman who believes women are genetically incapable of mastering a bunch of rules? He will be bereft of such a sounding board should Jamie Redknapp, pictured left -- the bookie's favourite for the post -- be promoted.
But then should a candidate's suitability for a job be governed solely by ability not to court controversy? Do past misdemeanours rule out Glenn Hoddle and Graeme Souness?
Surely what should matter is whether his replacement is as nerdily adept at mastering the bewildering box of technological tricks as the Scotsman. Because the fact is, when it came to fiddling with his joystick, there was no one to beat Andy Gray. (© Daily Telegraph, London)