This week’s quotes from sports and journalism includes Bernie Ecclestone, Jose Mourinho, the Olympics, Jonathan Edwards on morality, a cricketing boy wonder and a broadside from Monty. By JANINE SELF
“When I do go to football, I leave at half time. I don’t want to be delayed for an hour afterwards. I don’t stay to have a drink with other directors. I’ve got nothing to say to them. I don’t know what they are talking about. Actually if you ask me to name five of our team, I couldn’t” Bernie Ecclestone, F1 chief and co-owner of QPR, in a revealing interview with the Daily Mail‘s Jon McEvoy.
“On a normal Wednesday I would have had science three times, maths and RE, so it was not a bad day to miss” Barney Gibson, the Yorkshire schoolboy who became the youngest player in county cricket history at the age of 15 years and 27 days.
“The linesman was on the 18-yard line when the ball dropped on the line and it is the most difficult thing in the world to see from where he was. He didn’t have a clue really, did he? It was an honest decision, but a wrong decision. He’s guessed. But he’s guessed wrong” Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager, leads renewed calls for goal line technology after a “ghost” goal sees his side lose 201 at Chelsea, potentially costing Spurs £30 million by missing out on next season’s Champions League.
“Hell Clasico” Daily Mail headline after a bitter Champions League semi-final clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“I didn’t say anything to the referee. I simply laughed and showed my thumbs up. That was it. If I say to him and UEFA what I think, my career ends today” Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid coach, banished to the stands during the match.
“There are times when the missing player is looking very conspicuous” Peter Drury in ITV commentary after Real were reduced to 10 men on the pitch.
“Congratulations for a wonderful football team. Each semi-final always brings the same. I don’t know if it’s the advertising for Unicef. I don’t know if it’s UEFA. No one else has any chance really. I don’t understand why. I hope one day I will find the answer” Mourinho fuels conspiracy theories about Barcelona’s success.
“I’ve met him at UEFA meetings and his behaviour is faithful to his image: arrogant, haughty, chewing gum and somewhat of a boor. Luckily, Mourinho’s destructive tactics, aimed solely at provoking and destroying the opponents’ gameplan, did not work” Ottmar Hitzfeld, who has also won the Champions League with two different clubs, takes a different view.
“I am trying to find somewhere to kip. I don’t like them posh hotels. I don’t want nothing flash” Martin “Mad Dog” Allen, Notts County’s new manager, looks for lodgings via Twitter.
“We are thrilled with the response right across the board, in all sports and all sessions” Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organisers, after receiving 20 million applications for the Olympics’ 6.6 million available tickets.
“They had 1.8 million people apply. In a country of 60 million, that’s maybe a little worrying for the organisers” Jacquelin Magnay, Olympics editor at the Telegraph, speaking on BBC London.
“This tends to suggest the British have adopted the American mentality of turning out for an ‘event’ regardless of its merit. We all love an East End show. Faced with a choice between taekwondo, handball or watching David Beckham ride round the Stratford stadium on top of a black cab, many opted for a sight of the boy from Leytonstone. One hopes the British public will also cultivate an interest in the more obscure Olympic sports – or at least clap in the right places” Paul Hayward, in The Observer, on how the most over-subscribed “event” at the 2012 Olympics among the British public booking online has been the Opening Ceremony.
“I don’t think the attitude towards Lee is snobbery. I think it’s just they can’t quite fathom that the power of America has changed…They see Lee, the first No1 for a while that hasn’t won a Major and I suppose people feel resentment to that. I think the rankings rightly reflect performance and over two years Lee has amassed more points than anyone else – so he deserves his place, no question” Colin Montgomerie, Europe’s Ryder Cup-winning captain, critical of galleries at US tournaments for their attitude towards Britain’s Lee Westwood.
“He’s a great goalkeeper” Redknapp on his blundering Brazilian keeper, Heurelho Gomes.
“I felt comfortable with my relationship with Andy and the moral standards I have” Jonathan Edwards, the BBC athletics commentator and LOCOG official in a revealing interview with the Sunday Times‘s Paul Kimmage, defends his dealings with his one-time manager, the late Andy Norman, who fixed races and drug tests and was “a contributory factor” in the 1994 suicide of sports journalist Cliff Temple.
“You can start a story with a quote twice in your career. Once when you’re an intern, and again if the Pope ever says ‘fuck’” sports writer to an intern, apparently, as related by the Overheard in the Newsroom Facebook group.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates