Sunday, March 20, 2016
Why is the BBC convinced that everyone loves Manchester United?
I generally listen to the repeat of Choral Evensong on Radio 3. The music is sublime and the Old Testament lessons often barking mad, so it's great entertainment all round.
Today, after it was over, I switched to Five Live to see how Spurs were getting on in their attempt to catch Leicester City.
But Spurs were not on Five Live. You needed their Sports Extra channel to listen to that game. Five Live itself had the Manchester derby - the battle for fourth place, if you are being generous.
This is of a pattern with the BBC's conviction that everyone in the country loves Manchester United.
I can even recall Match of the Day deciding,n during the club's prime under Alex Ferguson, that every goal in its Goal of the Year competition should be from a United player. How other clubs' fans loved that!
There was a short period when Chelsea were cruising to their second title during Jose Mourinho's first coming when the BBC recognised that we were the leading team in the country. You could rely on Chelsea being the commentary game on Five Live and being first on Match of the Day.
Then we slipped a little. The BBC immediately pounced and restored Manchester United to first place in its affections.
Why this obsession? Maybe it's half-memories of the Munich disaster or of United winning the European Cup in 1968.
More likely it is because BBC staff live in Surrey like so many of the club's fans.