Date: 14th November 2009 at 11:15am
Written by:

Following last weeks highlights of the Wigan Athletic Vs Fulham game shown on the BBC`s Match of the Day 2, I was driven to write a complaint and send it in to Aunty.

I am not one to make complaints as a rule, if something frustrates, disappoints or annoys me I usually curse under my breath and just get on with it, but this was a little but different.

The points I raised were around three areas:

1- The opening sequence with the stereotypical brass band playing in the background whilst images of all the cultural high spots of Rome were contrasted against a backdrop of Wigan`s worst images and a lone woman sweeping the DW Stadium.

2- The constant referral to the size of the crowd whilst showing the empty North Stand which is the away end and not a mention of the other three stands that were 80% full, this against all the effort that the club and supporters themselves have put in to get this fixture along with the Sunderland and Birmingham games attended by as many Latics fans as possible with special initiatives on ticket pricing etc, I just felt it was a sly stab in the back from MotD 2 and undermined the clubs efforts.

3 – The fact that it was Remembrance Sunday, not something that I like to shout about but my Grandfather was killed in Italy during WW2 and on a day when there was ceremonies up and down the country, Wigan Athletic and Fulham were wearing poppies on their shirts and there had been a minutes silence at the DW Stadium in memory of all those servicemen and women who have fallen in conflicts serving our country, I just found it a little distasteful and also disrespectful for the BBC on this day in particular to show an Italian city in such a good way and an English working class town in such a bad way in an obvious comparison of the two

Anyway they were my gripes and the beeb have indeed replied to my complaint via email, it is a pretty stock response but at least it`s a response and contains the word `apology` which after all is what I wanted, here is the reply:

Thanks for your e-mail regarding ‘Match of the Day 2’ broadcast on 8 November.

I understand you feel the programme included material which you feel was offensive to the town of Wigan by comparing it to Rome. I note you believe a lot of people were offended by the programme and an apology should be made.

The Rome and Wigan footage was not intended to cause any offence and we’re sorry if it did. It was meant to be a light-hearted piece to show the contrast in Fulham’s two trips last week, not as an insult to Wigan. It was intended to highlight that Rome is viewed as one of the great cities in the world and that Fulham had played a Europa League match in the city that week.

AS Roma was probably the most glamorous of Fulham’s Europa League opponents, so nearly anyone they played after a trip like that would be an anti-climax to the week, or a ‘culture shock’, to use Adrian Chiles’ words.

I’d like to assure you that we’ve raised this issue with the programme’s production staff and they’ve been made aware of your concerns. Again, I’d like to apologise for any offence you may’ve been caused.

With your complaint in mind I’d like to take this opportunity to assure you that I’ve recorded your comments, including how you felt the remarks were particularly offensive as your grandfather died in Italy during WW2, onto our audience log. This is an internal daily report of audience feedback which is circulated to many BBC staff including senior management, producers and channel controllers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks again for contacting us.


Ciaran McConnell
BBC Complaints

So someone on behalf of the BBC has apologised and I have written back to thank them for that, just a pity it wasn`t someone from the Match of the Day 2 production team

The recent poll on Vital which asked should Latics fans boycott MotD 2 was 87% in favour of doing just that, I wont watch it again, I get frustrated every time I do with us just getting the obligatory 2 minutes at the rear of the show.

As far as the gripe goes though, I accept the apology and wont be dragging this on, so thanks Ciaran for my reply and apology on behalf of the beeb, but you can stick your Match of the Day up your?cue music? de, de, der, de, der, de, der, det

The Latics Hit 2000 Points Milestone

Wigan Athletic achieved their 2000th point as a league club in the 1-1 draw with Fulham

You must have some fantastic memories of games that we have achieved points in over the years, and you must have a favourite that sticks out, either from the mists of time like that first win against Rochdale or something more recent like breaking our hoodoo against Chelsea, why not jot them down and send them in and Vital Latics will publish them under the heading 2000 Memories.

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