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Club News

On the Box

21 February 2013

Lions relish TV clash but chairman has a question

Millwall travel to Middlesbrough on Saturday looking to end a run of five consecutive League defeats and Kenny Jackett believes it is just the sort of game his team needs after the disappointment of Tuesday night's result against Peterborough.

"This game can't come soon enough for me as a manager," he said. "We'll relish going up there to face a big club in front of a live TV audience and there's an opportunity for us there to show what we're capable of and arrest our recent slide."

This will be Millwall's second appearance live on Sky this season following the 1-0 home success against Leeds back in November, and it will shortly be followed by the Good Friday trip to Leicester which is also in front of the Sky cameras.

From a financial point of view, everyone is delighted with the forthcoming Sky coverage in addition to ESPN broadcasting a second consecutive FA Cup tie involving The Lions (v. Blackburn on 10th March).

However, in the wake of the recent Sky Sports News Special Report, Millwall chairman John Berylson wonders whether broadcasters and the media in general should not accept a greater responsibility in respect of dealing with major issues within the game, over and above reporting or televising games and being amongst football's major funders.

In Tuesday's match programme, and referring to the racism documentary produced by Sky, Mr Berylson wrote:
"In accepting that everyone involved in football has a share of the responsibility for cleaning up our game, where does the media fit into the picture?

Are they not partners with a degree of responsibility of their own?
Is it enough for them to shine a light into the dark corners of our game or society from the sidelines?
Or should they be involved, getting their hands dirty with us, as determined as we are to play their part in ensuring that the game to which so many of their number owe their living, is a good news story which will attract followers (or as they call them, ‘subscribers’) in even greater number? 

Sky TV, in this instance, had the resources and technology at their disposal to get evidence which they sat on for three months for the purposes of making their programme. Could they not have made this available to police and ourselves to speed up the judicial process and produced a programme explaining how they had worked in partnership with others in football to tackle racism?

Just a thought."

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