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Archived News from February 2008

1st February 2008 8:56

Beeb says Palmer's Haslam views 'should have been challenged'
CHAD.co.uk, 31Jan08

THE BBC has now admitted some fault in the Carlton Palmer Match Of The Day row.
In a climbdown, the Beeb is now saying that Palmer's comments which prompted well over 100 complaints to the corporation 'could have been challenged' during the programme.

Angry fans bombarded the TV station with complaints after the former Stags manager - working as a pundit for the BBC 1 - defended his friend and ex-boss.

Palmer was interviewed as a studio guest ahead of the live televised FA Cup tie between Mansfield Town and Middlesbrough.

He had been asked for his views on what the cup run had done for the town and how important the football club was to the town of Mansfield.

But he ignored the question and launched into a backing of underfire Stags owner Haslam.

Palmer was allowed to infer, unchallenged, that the controversial owner had put his own money into the Stags and built a new stadium – when fans point out that the funding for the new stands at Field Mill came from grants.

The unpopular ex-Stags manager told presenter Gabby Logan: "The club is struggling with the supporters wanting the chairman (Haslam) out. He has done a fantastic job over the last 15 years, built a new stadium and the club has come a long way.

"Hopefully the supporters will realise the job the chairman has done here. They will realise if the club doesn't have anyone to put any money into it, who is going to run it, so they can't hound him out."

That prompted a deluge of angry comments to the BBC from incensed supporters because the BBC did not allow protesting fans the right of reply – or the chance to air their grievances of the stewardship of the Stags by Mr Haslam.

On Tuesday the BBC had told Chad: "Carlton expressed his personal opinion, which is what we expect all our pundits to do."

But now fans who complained to the BBC are receiving the following reply, including an admission that Palmer's comments 'could have been challenged'.

On Thursday the BBC, when approached by Chad, said it would not be commenting further to the newspaper.

The reply fans are who complained are receiving states:

"Thank you for your recent e-mail.

"We are sorry if you were unhappy with the comments made by Carlton Palmer in relation to Keith Haslam during Match of the Day Live: Mansfield Town v Middlesbrough on the 26th January 2008.

"Your concerns were raised with the programme and we can assure you that the views expressed by Carlton were his own and in no way reflect those of the BBC.

"Carlton's comments came at the very start of the programme when we were reflecting on an opening piece about the town and the role played by the football club. At that stage we were also assessing Mansfield's chances of causing a big upset. At the time it felt inappropriate to debate the subject of Keith Haslam and Mansfield Town - the concentration of the programme was on the tie and the build-up to the match. In hindsight Carlton's views could have been challenged.

"We should point out though that Steve Wilson did refer to the protests from fans in his commentary and we did show a "Haslam Out" banner during the coverage.

"We appreciate your concerns and we have therefore ensured your complaint has been registered on the daily log and made available to the Match of the Day Live production team.


"BBC Complaints"


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