Sky Sports’ brutal cost-cutting following their £11m-a-match spend on Premier League rights has claimed four more casualties, including chief football reporter Nick Collins.
The quartet is made up of Collins and the respected trio of rugby reporter Phil Edwards, Midlands reporter Pete Colley and Tim Abraham, who was recalled from the England cricket tour of India last Friday in the middle of the Test series.
They are all faced with an official Sky redundancy process.
The moustachioed Collins was the best known as Sky Sports News’ indefatigable England reporter.
Such was his standing, he was given the opportunity to ask the England manager five or six questions before anyone else was allowed a turn at TV broadcast interviews.
Gareth Southgate’s first TV media conference as the newly appointed England boss on Thursday will be a strange affair without the ever-present Collins behind the mic.
Clearly Sky’s money men felt they could no longer afford the duplication of Sky Sports News having international cricket, football and rugby reporters in addition to their large live match teams, who will now be expected to fill the gaps left by the departures.
FA chairman Greg Clarke is prepared for the ruling body to take full responsibility for football’s investigation into the sex abuse scandal and for all the consequences that may follow.
But certainly the Premier League, the richest football competition in the world, should help to pay for any potential compensation for the victims that may follow this investigation and others by the police.
The PL and the Football League have always been zealous in wanting control over running their own youth academies rather than ceding control to the FA.
Channel 4 are celebrating 32 years of racing coverage — which will end in December after ITV Sport won the rights from 2017 — by holding a party at their London headquarters on Thursday.
Yet peerless racing producer Andrew Franklin and C4’s best-known racing personality John McCririck, who have arguably done more between them than anyone else to elevate C4 racing over the years, have not been invited to the bash.
Franklin ran Highflyer, who produced C4’s racing for 28 years before being replaced by IMG from 2013, which led to the departure of famous faces such as John Francome and McCririck and a 25 per cent drop in viewing figures.
It is understood it was felt ‘inappropriate’ to invite Franklin because he has been such a vocal critic of IMG’s greatly inferior racing output.
A C4 spokesman claimed McCririck was on the guest list. But Big Mac, who lost an employment tribunal age discrimination case following his axing, said: ‘This is the first I’ve heard of the party. I don’t know anything about it. The viewers did the talking about IMG’s wasted four years.’
Team GB’s chances of repeating their Rio record–breaking medal haul at Tokyo 2020 is threatened by a possible £30m cut in funding.
This follows a five-month drop in spending on the National Lottery that organisers Camelot have admitted is a definite downward trend rather than a temporary dip.
The lottery provides two-thirds of the £350m budget that UK Sport allocate to the Olympic sports on the basis of their medal potential.
The Treasury have refused to fill the funding gap — public money covers the other third of Team GB’s funding.
So UK Sport chairman Rod Carr has written to PM Theresa May mentioning the unprecedented triumphs in Rio in a final plea for extra money before the board meeting on December 7 that will decide each Olympic sport’s funding for the Tokyo cycle.
Carr, who is leaving after four years as chairman, said: ‘If we don’t get a solution before next Wednesday from the Government, we will have to make some hard decisions.
‘We have sent experts in to some of the sports to make sure they’re driving the maximum efficiency.’