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Jonathan Agnew carpeted by BBC after foul-mouthed rant

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Jonathan Agnew carpeted by BBC after foul-mouthed rant… while Premier League go to extreme lengths to protect integrity of VAR operations

  • Jonathan Agnew has been reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant
  • Agnew took exception to a column by The Independent’s Jonathan Liew
  • He then launched a foul-mouthed tirade in a series of direct messages on Twitter

Jonathan Agnew, the BBC’s voice of cricket, has been strongly reprimanded by the Corporation after an extra-ordinary expletive-ridden rant on social media.

The Test Match Special commentator took exception to a column by The Independent’s Jonathan Liew and launched a foul-mouthed tirade in a series of direct messages on Twitter.

Agnew called Liew a c*** at least three times in quick succession, adding: ‘I’m going no further on the advice of people I have heard back from who know you and think you are a c***. I know you are. Think on.

Jonathan Agnew has been strongly reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant

Jonathan Agnew has been strongly reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant

‘C***. You’re so strange I don’t know if you’d be upset to know those who think you are a c***. Or not.’

Agnew, who earns between £180,000 and £189,999 as the BBC’s cricket correspondent, has missed England’s first two one-day games against Pakistan owing to a planned holiday.

But in the week former BBC 5Live presenter Danny Baker was sacked by the Beeb for showing a ‘serious error of judgement’ over a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby, Agnew has escaped further censure.

Sports Agenda understands BBC bosses took action against Agnew before the direct messages were made public on Saturday, and spoke to the 59-year-old about the ‘clear standards of behaviour’ they expect. 

Agnew has also written to Liew to apologise. Editorial guidelines warn journalists to be ‘mindful that the information you disclose does not bring the BBC into disrepute’ on social media websites.

Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC for a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby

Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC for a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby

Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC for a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby

In December 2018 Agnew told his colleague Gary Lineker to keep his political views to himself, adding: ‘I’d be sacked if I followed your example.’

He has also previously complained about being sent ‘vitriol’ on Twitter, adding: ‘What is the point of coming on and making a rude, inflammatory introduction? The answer is, there isn’t, unless you really want to cause trouble.’

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We don’t comment on individual staff matters but we take this very seriously and have clear standards of behaviour we expect all personnel to abide by.’

McLaren have caused a stir by dropping their paddock lunches, saving them an eye-watering £500,000 over the season. The lavish buffets, plus gratis drinks, acted as Formula One’s canteen for media and sundry hangers on. 

But after a record £96million operating loss by their racing division last year, cutbacks have had to be made across the board, and the spreads are now reserved for team members and invited guests, starting at the Spanish Grand Prix. 

VAR SECURITY CLAMPDOWN

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of their VAR operations ahead of the major launch next season.

For test matches in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Hawk-Eye operatives and refereeing experts have been ordered to hand in their phones when they enter the chamber at the Stockley Park base. 

The room goes into lockdown 45 minutes before kick-off and recording devices are placed into the ceiling to monitor all conversations.

Operatives are allowed to leave the room to use the toilet — but only at half-time and in the company of chaperones.

Hawk-Eye staff, who have no influence on refereeing decisions, have also been asked to reveal their personal club allegiances and are kept away from matches involving their own teams or closest rivals.

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of VAR operations

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of VAR operations

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of VAR operations

Professional Cricketers’ Association chief executive David Leatherdale announced he will step down later this year, leaving the organisation rudderless at a time of great change in the domestic game. 

Players remain concerned about the impact of the Hundred competition and want Leatherdale’s successor to fight their corner in any battles with the ECB.

Former chief executive Richard Bevan would be a popular choice, but has been closely linked with the equivalent role at the Professional Footballers’ Association. 

Former PCA deputy chief Jason Ratcliffe was interviewed for the top job last time around, while Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies, has been mentioned. 

Former England bowler Isa Guha, the first woman to join the PCA board, is another possible contender.

It is not only long-suffering fans who have to jump through hoops to satisfy UEFA’s vanity project of holding the Europa League final in such an inaccessible place as Baku, Azerbaijan. 

Finalists Chelsea and Arsenal have to send representatives to a meeting in the host city next week, having been told by UEFA they cannot just catch up in London instead. 

Clearly UEFA could not have predicted that two English clubs would reach the final, but picking a location they themselves admitted is probably accessible for only around 15,000 fans defies all logic. 

Chelsea and Arsenal representatives will be sent to Baku for a meeting next week

Chelsea and Arsenal representatives will be sent to Baku for a meeting next week

Chelsea and Arsenal representatives will be sent to Baku for a meeting next week 

Crewe have banned a book written by a supporter from being sold in the club’s store. Former Financial Times journalist Charlie Morris published Generation Game in April and sent a copy to Alison Bowler, the daughter of owner John Bowler. 

It partially explores how a Crewe fan grapples with his conscience following the conviction of former youth coach Barry Bennell. 

Morris criticises the club’s ‘cold lack of empathy for victims’ and wonders: ‘Could I continue to support this fallen club even though my family had followed it for 118 years?’ 

Alison Bowler, the club’s business operations manager, wrote to Morris: ‘We feel it would not be appropriate to stock the publication.’ 

Guests at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last Thursday were greeted by a slightly bizarre sight on their way to the toilets — Jose Mourinho. 

The former Manchester United boss happened to be staying at the London Landmark hotel in Marylebone and was spotted in his casuals in a corridor outside the Grand Ballroom.

Jose Mourinho was spotted at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last week

Jose Mourinho was spotted at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last week

Jose Mourinho was spotted at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last week

FA Cup finalists Watford have not invited Graham Taylor’s 1984 side to this year’s showpiece against Manchester City on Saturday. 

The class of ’84 are the only previous team in Watford’s history to reach the Cup final but their former players’ association have been told no complimentary seats will be available, although they had the option to buy tickets. 

Watford put their decision down to a limited allocation. In the final, a Watford team owned by Elton John and containing John Barnes and Mo Johnston were beaten 2-0 by Everton. 

A grand total of four people were sufficiently offended by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp describing his team as ‘f***ing mentality giants’ at 10.10pm after their Champions League victory against Barcelona that they complained to Ofcom.

Ofcom say they will ‘assess the complaints before deciding whether to investigate’. 

Party poopers.

Four people complained after Jurgen Klopp swore on live television at 10.10pm last Tuesday

Four people complained after Jurgen Klopp swore on live television at 10.10pm last Tuesday

Four people complained after Jurgen Klopp swore on live television at 10.10pm last Tuesday

Contributors: Joe Bernstein, Matt Barlow, Mike Keegan, Adam Crafton, Laura Lambert and Paul Newman



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Photo: Andy Robertson floating around on a unicorn inflatable

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Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson has been enjoying some free time during the club’s training camp in Marbella. The Scotland international has…

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Photo: Man Utd midfielder on holiday in Miami

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Manchester United midfielder Fred is sunning himself in Miami. The 26-year-old has missed out on a place in Brazil’s Copa America squad after…

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Eden Hazard and Co continue preparations for the Europa League final against Arsenal

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Eden Hazard and Co continue to count down the days until Baku as Maurizio Sarri prepares his Chelsea stars for the Europa League final against Arsenal

  • Chelsea continued their preparations for the Europa League final next week
  • Eden Hazard and his Blues team-mates were put through their paces at Cobham
  • Maurizio Sarri is aiming to win his first bit of silverware as Chelsea manager

With the Europa League final under a week away, Maurizio Sarri is making sure that his players are fully prepared for his biggest game as Chelsea boss.

The Blues will face London rivals Arsenal in the Baku showpiece next Wednesday and the Italian will be aiming to secure his piece of silverware as a manager.

Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and the rest of their Blues team-mates were all put through their paces at Cobham on Thursday with the squad set to fly out to Azerbaijan in the coming days.

Eden Hazard (R) takes part in Chelsea's training session on Thursday ahead of next week's final

Eden Hazard (R) takes part in Chelsea’s training session on Thursday ahead of next week’s final

N'Golo Kante (right) chases down the ball as Conor Gallagher (L

N'Golo Kante (right) chases down the ball as Conor Gallagher (L

N’Golo Kante (right) chases down the ball as Conor Gallagher (L) and Ethan Ampadu watch on

Some of the Chelsea players celebrate a victory during a mini tournament during training

Some of the Chelsea players celebrate a victory during a mini tournament during training

Some of the Chelsea players celebrate a victory during a mini tournament during training

Reports suggested that Sarri’s position as manager has been put on the line depending on the result of next Wednesday’s final but the 60-year-old insists he will leave Chelsea immediately if that is the case.

The Italian’s future is uncertain after fans turned against him following a mid-season slump and he has emerged as a possible replacement for Max Allegri at Juventus.

Sarri parried questions on the Juventus connection on Wednesday, before claiming his mind is focused on next week’s final.

Gonzalo Higuain (right) has a shot closed down by England defender Gary Cahill (left)

Gonzalo Higuain (right) has a shot closed down by England defender Gary Cahill (left)

Gonzalo Higuain (right) has a shot closed down by England defender Gary Cahill (left)

Reserve goalkeeper Rob Green jumps to reach the ball as Olivier Giroud (left) asks for it

Reserve goalkeeper Rob Green jumps to reach the ball as Olivier Giroud (left) asks for it

Reserve goalkeeper Rob Green jumps to reach the ball as Olivier Giroud (left) asks for it

Chelsea's Brazilian winger Willian looks to take on Jorginho during their training session

Chelsea's Brazilian winger Willian looks to take on Jorginho during their training session

Chelsea’s Brazilian winger Willian looks to take on Jorginho during their training session

He made it clear his first season at Stamford Bridge should not hinge on the result of one game. ‘If the situation is like this I want to go immediately,’ said Sarri. ‘You cannot do 10 months of work and then I have to play for everything in 90 minutes.

‘It’s not the right way. You’re either happy about my work or you’re not happy.’

Chelsea finished third during Sarri’s first season as boss following poor runs of form from Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United. 



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