“Never mind the quality, count the noughts”

A summer’s sports fest of Wimbledon tennis, European triathlon, Test match cricket, world heavyweight boxing, women’s basketball. And football. JANINE SELF with the sports and media quotes of the week that includes the Guardian’s “digital first” strategy and James Murdoch’s merger plans

“It’s a ­FeliFest at ­Wimbledon tomorrow. Twice in one day. Too much. Way too much. Oooooooooh Delician… looking good out there. As ­always” Judy Murray admits her, er, admiration for Feliciano Lopez at Wimbledon via her Twitter account @judmoo.

"Deliciano" Lopez, according to Judy Murray

“I think it’s about time she stopped that nonsense. It’s making me throw up. It’s disgusting. She’d been writing about it on Twitter all the time. And I was ­practising with him before the tournament and my mum was on the side. When we were warming up, I shouted across the net, ‘Feli… take a picture with my mum, because she thinks you’re beautiful.’ She wouldn’t” Andy Murray.

“If you let Rafa get on top of you he’s like an express train” Sue Barker puts the ooo and errr into tennis.

“Even their words fizz across the net, vying to win debates. Nadal thinks today’s top four are more consistently successful and ‘focused mentally’ than earlier household names. Federer disagrees, saying: ‘It’s not fair to say that our generation is stronger. For many years people said it was weaker, because there was only me and then there was only Rafa and me. All of a sudden there’s people talking about four. Now it’s the best ever. This is where I disagree. It doesn’t happen so quickly'” Paul Hayward, in The Observer, on the debate between the top men’s tennis players about the stature of the current era.

“The announcement by Guardian Media Group that it is to adopt a digital-first strategy has engendered a mixture of concern, incredulity, hostility and cynicism while fostering a widespread belief that the game is up for The Guardian and its Sunday stablemate, The ObserverRoy Greenslade in his Evening Standard media column following Alan Rusbridger’s digital-first announcement last week, just a few years after investing £100 million in new presses.

Julie Page shoots and scores in Great Britain's women's EuroBasket match against Lithuania last week

“Other than the last minute, you’d take that performance any day” Tom Maher, coach to the Great Britain women’s basketball team, after seeing their five-point turn into a narrow defeat, 64-63 to one of the favourites, Lithuania, in the second round of the EuroBasket tournament last week.

“He hides his academic bushel under a shrewd carapace” Pat Murphy, as entertaining as ever on Radio 5.

“Jonny was great blocking and slowing it right down.  He would have won if he hadn’t done that, so it was great team work” Alistair Brownlee thanks his brother Jonny’s tactical riding after the world No1 regained the European triathlon despite suffering a puncture on the cycle stage of the race in Pontevedra, northern Spain. Jonny took the silver medal.

“If you asked a male footballer their opinion on women’s football their comments might not be complimentary but that’s probably because they haven’t seen a game in so long” David James, the former England goalkeeper, on perceptions of the women’s game, writing in The Observer.

“This is one of those series that never really got going, but we’re very happy to have won it” Andrew Strauss, the England captain, after his side’s rain-affected 1-0 series win over Sri Lanka.

“I did notice they were all batters” Chris Tremlett, an England bowler, on batsmen Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower and Alastair Cook being recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“When you actually look at the competitive set in the all media marketplace, when you know you have sort of monolithic brands like Google, Apple… Telefonica, Deutsche Telecom, Verizon… there are much, much bigger beasts than a News Corp or a Time Warner” James Murdoch at a conference in Cannes arguing for his News Corporation’s takeover of BSkyB to go ahead.

“The uncritical euphoria of Sky Television, allied to a prodigious influx of foreign money, has created a Premier League in which wealth always trumps worth. It must be good, we are constantly informed, because it sells all over the world. Never mind the quality, count the noughts” Patrick Collins revels in an all-too-brief summer of sport without any over-hyped Premier League football.

Shane Warne: not rated by Readers Digest

Readers Digest asked readers to rate 100 famous Australians for trustworthiness. Shane Warne came last

“We live in a modern world, and I followed it up with a hard copy. I did say to my wife, two or three days into my holiday, I should maybe go and deliver it by hand, face-to-face. But the chairman Peter Pannu was abroad as well and my wife said ‘no way are you leaving this holiday… or you will get hit with a rolling pin!’ Then I had to spoil her holiday anyway” Alex McLeish on resigning from the Birmingham manager’s job by email.

“What sort of football authority would tell their best young players to avoid participating in what is likely to be the greatest sporting festival of their lifetime? I’ll tell you: a pig-ignorant committee of self-interested, freebie-hogging old farts desperate to ensure their backsides remain ensconced on FIFA junkets and Wembley jollies, that’s who” Des Kelly in his Daily Mail column delivers a broadside to the Scots, Welsh and Northern Ireland FAs over the GB Olympic football team.

“But I have to tell you about mentality. You can train your psychology. You lose or you win the fight – and anything in life – in your mind. I can look at how the person walks, how he speaks, his expressions. It’s a wisdom. Eyes are the mirror of the soul” Wladimir Klitschko on his up-coming fight with David Haye.


  • Thu July 14: SJA Sporting lunch with Charles van Commenee, head coach of UK Athletics, one year ahead of the London Olympics. For booking details click here.
  • 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 – Booking now open. For more details, click here.

All details subject to alteration. Keep checking for updates