The BBC have raised eyebrows at bitter rivals Sky – after “nicking” the music for their Euros coverage.
Sky Sports have won plenty of plaudits this season for their coverage of the Women’s Super League which features Joy Crookes’ Feet Don’t Fail Me Now as their catchy opening theme tune. But, incredibly, the BBC have also used the same song in their opening credits for the Euros which has led to accusations of them stealing Sky’s best ideas.
Whisper Films made the opening credits for the BBC which will be shown in homes across the UK this summer and they even put together a film featuring pop star Crookes together with stars from the tournament.
Sky’s WSL coverage has raised the bar for the women’s game – with several clubs fulsome in their praise of how it has been a “game changer” for the sport – and maybe the BBC are now trying to catch up. But it does seem remarkable they are using the same music with Whisper Films seemingly unaware it was so closely associated with another channel.
Referees chief Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb has given TV pundits a pre-tournament briefing ahead of the Euros.
The PGMOL’s first Women’s Select Group director Steinhaus-Webb and WSG coach Rebecca Smith spoke to BBC pundits, broadcasters and reporters over Zoom last week. They were shown clips and examples while UEFA hope the level of officials and, in particular, VAR will be higher in the home tournament than in recent years
UEFA have sold more than 517,000 tickets for the Euros this summer. England’s three Group matches have all sold out and organisers are hopeful they will sell the vast majority of the remaining tickets with a total of 700,000 on sale.
UEFA head of women’s football Nadine Kessler, a retired Germany international said: “I may be controversial but in my day people were more concerned if my jersey fitted. There’s been a big shift in the mindset in women’s football and the way people see it.
“The growth is there. We’ve sold 517,000 tickets now a day before the opening game and had tickets sold to 99 different countries. That is simply fantastic.”
Social media firms could be fined millions as part of new proposals for a crackdown on online abuse. Paul Elliott, who is a member of the FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board, revealed talks have taken place about issuing mega fines to the likes of Twitter and Instagram unless they address the issue.
It is part of UEFA’s own plans to take a stand against keyboard warriors ahead of the women’s Euros with a new film also set to be released warning of the dangers and effects of abusing football stars.
Former Chelsea defender Elliott said: “It’s been discussed that some firms could be fined ten per cent of their global revenue. That’s billions of pounds in total so we’re talking about a lot of money. In my day, they said it to your face and now there’s a new way to abuse players. It’s the single biggest threat to the game today, in my opinion.”
Chelsea star Jorginho and former England star Karen Carney are two players taking part in a new UEFA film called Outrage which focuses on the scars that online abuse can have on players.
Grace Vella, the former Liverpool and Manchester City player, has turned successful businesswoman and is now trying to help future football stars.
Vella launched her own fashion range Miss Kick in 2018 when she was aged just 21 and is trying to raise awareness about how many girls and young women drop out of sport. She has now launched her own Foundation to help and says her “mission is to empower future stars” which has also seen her do a Q&A session ahead of the Euros and an advertising billboard campaign about refusing to give up.