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BT Sport launch embarrassing defence of Rio Ferdinand after shameful Mike Ashley comments

3 years ago

A fortnight ago, Rio Ferdinand made himself and BT Sport a laughing stock.

The comments on Newcastle United from the former Man Utd player almost as embarrassing as his excuses for missing a series of drugs tests, which led to a long-term ban in his playing days.

Rio Ferdinand gave a series of comments over the course of the weekend when Chelsea beat Newcastle 2-1, both on BT Sport and via social media.

Apart from the brainless and those bought off by Mike Ashley, there was unanimous condemnation of Rio Ferdinand, from Newcastle fans, the media and neutrals alike.

People unable to believe the slavish defence of Mike Ashley, by the disgraced former Man Utd and England player.

BT Sport have shamefully backed up the comments by Rio Ferdinand and claimed that it helped provide ‘viewers with a fair and balanced discussion which offered up different sides of the argument.’

This is laughable, sometimes there are not two credible sides to every argument.

Rio Ferdinand then compounded his embarrassing pro-Mike Ashley Saturday (12 January) comments (for which he also has previous form) by using his Twitter account on Sunday (13 January) morning to add: ‘Newcastle United fans good morning to you all!! Ya clubs turning a profit, no debt, oh & playing in the PL! Terrible!’

Only for then eventually when he was getting battered from all angles for his crass behaviour and support of his business associate Mike Ashley, Rio Ferdinand was obviously advised by his PR people to try and bury the whole thing.

Ferdinand deleted the above message from his Twitter account and instead put one up that featured multiple fishing rods hooking  fish, to signify that this whole weekend of backing Mike Ashley and having a go at Newcastle fans, had actually just been a ‘fishing trip’ all along, intending to reel in the fish (Newcastle fans) for laughs/’banter’.

Despite his transparent unprofessional behaviour, BT Sport are blindly backing Rio Ferdinand.

He should have been sacked, never mind defending him, and it will be an absolute disgrace if they use him again on any Newcastle United match coverage, or indeed give him any platform to defend Mike Ashley.

It is Man City at home on Tuesday night, ‘live and exclusive’ to BT Sport…

BT Sport giving this official response to a Newcastle fan raising questions about Rio Ferdinand:

‘Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

‘Our coverage of the Premier League often involves discussion and debate, where guests are invited to present their views on players, managers and owners.

‘This can involves individuals discussing different viewpoints, which we feel is a big part of the show, as viewers can hear all sides of the argument.

‘During our pre-match coverage of the Chelsea v Newcastle fixture, Jake Humphrey and Rio Ferdinand exchanged different views about the ownership of Newcastle United by Mike Ashley.

‘At the very start of this discussion, Jake Asked Rio whether his views about the club were because of his commercial affiliations with Mike Ashley’s retail companies.

‘Rio responded by stating that he does not know Mike Ashley well and, later on in the same response Rio stated: “It’s got nothing to do…(with the)…business dealings that I’ve got with his company”, confirming that Rio’s views were his honest opinion about the club and owner.

‘Later on during this discussion, Jake also challenged Rio regarding Mike Ashley’s spending on the club and Rafa Benitez’s arrival as manager.

‘Therefore, Rio’s opinions about Ashley and Newcastle were questioned at every stage, providing viewers with a fair and balanced discussion which offered up different sides of the argument.

‘We appreciate that this response will not fully alleviate your concerns, however, we hope the above information reassures you that we take our responsibilities as a broadcaster seriously.

‘Finally, we can confirm that we have passed your comments on to the production team.

‘Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

‘Best Wishes

‘BT Sport Team’


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