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A list of every stupid thing said on Monday’s Sportsound

facepalm-statueI try, when possible, to be of a sunny disposition. But sometimes there are things that send you doolally.

Monday’s episode of Sportsound is one of them. The BBC Radio Scotland coverage, once excellent, feels diminished this season. Too many ill-informed pundits, no consistency in programming, a complete denial of the existence of football in Scotland below the top half of the Championship, it’s amazing for a programme that runs for an hour each night during the week can say so little about our national game.

In their defence, there are some excellent features. So far this season the interviews with Garry O’Connor, Stevie Paterson and John Lambie & Chic Charnley have been sensational. Some of the pundits, such as Stevie Thompson have been good. And both Richard Wilson and Tom English cast much needed light when so many others bring heat.

It’s perhaps telling that neither the last two featured on Monday’s edition, dealing with the fallout of Scotland’s surrender to England at Wembley three nights previous. Never before on my commute to work has my flabber been gasted as I was listening to this edition. So much so, dear reader, I’ve listened to it again and I present to you, a list of every stupid thing said on Monday’s Sportsound:


Chic Young: “And he (Strachan) is currently in the Iberian Peninsula where I think it’s raining, so you know, he must have broken a mirror or something”

I’m no meteorologist, but I’m not sure there’s a correlation between cracked mirrors and sunshine.


Kenny Macintyre: “You’ve been banging the phones today…”

Chic Young: “I’m not you…”

Much of the criticism I’ve heard recently from peers is that Sportsound is a bit of an old pals act. This sort of entertaining back-and-forth is emblematic of the problem. Literally no one cares.


Chic Young: “We can still qualify, arithmetically”


Chic Young: “There was a lot of good about Scotland on Friday night. The team surprised us, there was some successes”

“How was the play Mrs Lincoln?”


Barry Ferguson: “I thought Scotland were good”


Barry Ferguson: “Who do you get in? That’s my argument.”

Literally hundreds of more capable football coaches Barry.


Barry Ferguson: “I thought the team played well.”


Chic Young: “We just don’t have a centre-half in that team. I don’t know why Charlie Mulgrew didn’t play.”

This Charlie Mulgrew?


Chic Young: “We might end up with Donald Trump as head of the SFA”

Nope…me neither


Chic Young: “Snodgrass had a face like Hillary Clinton when he didn’t get that pass”

This is actually me listening to Chic Young in 2016



Chic Young: “I fret over the continuing snubbing of John McGinn…this lad is international class and will be at a big English club very shortly”

Here’s a picture of John McGinn being snubbed by Gordon Strachan




Only ten minutes gone so far. Shout out to Stephen McGowan from the Scottish Daily Mail for being the only rational individual in the studio.


Stephen McGowan: “…and there’s another issue about unelected Presidents and Vice Presidents…”

Chic Young: “House of Lords, that’s what that is”

Really Chic? The SFA is like the upper house of the Parliament of the UK that scrutinises bills that have been approved by the House of Commons? Or are you just saying stuff?


Barry Ferguson: “I must have been watching a different game. I thought we had the best chance of the first half apart from Sturridge scoring that goal.”


Chic Young: “He (Strachan) doesn’t get an easy ride from the press.”

Aye, pal.


Chic Young: “Why do people always shout at televisions?”

Another golden non sequitur.


(A long monologue from Chic Young which involved the phrases ‘one for the road’ ‘rugby club’ ‘emotion’ and a reference to the Kardashians of Lanarkshire but amounted to very little)


Someone emails in suggesting Scotland’s defensive problems could be solved by playing Scott Brown and Darren Fletcher at centre half. Taking the suggestion seriously:

Chic Young: “Who’s going to win the ball in the air?”


Barry Ferguson: “International football is completely different from club football.”

A level of insight that no one other than a former-internationalist could have provided.


Kenny Macintyre suggests “throwing in” Scotland u21 players into the full squad

Chic Young (loudly): “But John McGinn is not a kid…I’d have put him right into the team.”


Chic Young: “But there is no magic wand that someone, whether it’s Pep Guardiola or Jim Duffy that comes in, it’s not going to have a magic wand over it and change it.”

If the option is Pep Guardiola or Jim Duffy for Scotland boss and Chic Young is in charge, I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that our next manager is from Maryhill.

Barry Ferguson: “But you just have to look at Northern Ireland’s centre halves, they’re playing Premier League. Macaulay and Evans…they are playing at the highest level in a good team.”

Must have missed the memo that declared West Bromwich Albion to be the mecca of football.


A caller suggested that Andy Considine should be playing for Scotland. A reminder that however bad a situation is in the world, there will always be an Aberdonian alongside you complaining about one of their players not being called up by Scotland.


Chic Young: “We’re not going to throw a name at Gordon Strachan that he’s going to go who’s that?”

No, but Strachan hasn’t gone to watch Barry Douglas once (nor scouted him) during his stints in Poland and Turkey.


Chic Young: “He’s gone and found players, like Oliver Burke, that few of us had heard of.”


Barry Ferguson: “But it’s going to be hard, you know the young ones, 18, 19, it’s far too young to coming into international level…”

Chic Young: “What age were you when you got your first cap?”

Barry Ferguson: “19”

Hard to see why Clyde have been bodied out the Scottish Cup in recent years by Spartans and Formartine United…


Chic Young: “Could we not get Colin Calderwood back up the road?”


Chic Young: “I know people will shout and scream, but all things being equal, I want a Scotsman in charge of Scotland. It does bemuse me that we have international rules and regulations about players that have to be Scottish but managers can be from anywhere, why is that? International football should be international football.”

Great to see that Yer Da’s opinions are getting a wider platform


Chic Young: “I’d like to know, what someone, you name to me the coach of Slovenia, what does he give us than say Jim Duffy does not. Someone like Jim Duffy, who’s old and wise, who’s coached in England, who’s been over the course, whose produced a miracle with Morton, does he not…Willie Ormond, they brought Willie Ormond with St Johnstone back in the 70s…people talk about lateral thinking, let’s look at what we’ve got here in Scotland.”

He literally said this.


Barry Ferguson: “If they played the way they did against England on Friday night against Lithuania at Hampden, we would have beat them easily.”

And if my aunt had baws etc etc


Listener contributions which include suggestions of a John Hughes/Jim Duffy job share; Steven Fletcher to play centre back; and Maurice Malpas to join to the coaching team.

Maybe we get the Sportsound we all deserve?


Chic Young: “Could be Big Sam?”

He says in jest, when in fact it’s already a Terrace campaign.


Barry Ferguson: “I think if you want to appoint a manager, he’s got to be Scottish?”

Kenny Macintyre: “Why?”

Chic Young: “I think if Pep Guardiola says…”

Barry Ferguson: “Well we’re not going to get anyone like that…”

Chic Young: “Well exactly…what we’re saying if two guys of more or less equal attributes then I’ll go for the Scottish guy.”

Glad that’s cleared up. Pep Guardiola is unlikely to be the next manager of Scotland.


Chic Young: “I’m saying to you, Jim Duffy might not be foreign and exotic but it might be exactly what the doctor ordered.”



Chic Young: “Iceland is almost inexplicable in what they’ve done there…you can turn to me to me and say why have Iceland done it? And I’d say I don’t know”

This might be the stupidest thing said during the entirety of the show. They literally planned for improvement, built infrastructure, hired coaches. There were literally hundreds of articles about how they did it in the build up to Euro 2016. What an absolutely riddy.


Barry Ferguson: “I seen an interview with Judy Murray regarding kids nowadays, they’re mollycoddled, that’s the problem now.”

That’s the problem is it? Specifically, just Scottish kids, not Welsh kids, not English kids, not German kids, it’s just Scottish kids that are being mollycoddled aye?

Wow, that was grim.



Thanks to the Terrace Podcast for letting us republish their article. You can follow their podcast and blogs here.


Comments (25)

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  1. Bryan Weir says:

    This article is a parcel of brochan. Is it actually meant to be serious comment? I mean stuff like …
    “Literally hundreds of more capable football coaches Barry.”

    Come on! Must do better.

  2. Rab says:

    They’re part of the problem with our game. It’s ruled over by incompetents and held to account by incompetents (with some journo exceptions).

  3. Mach1 says:

    Piece states the bloody obvious about the standard of punditry in Scotland. It is almost as if no one ever researches any aspect of the topic in hand. The SFA, however, seems to play to the baying mob or not depending on the scale of our humiliation. Strachan was no doubt out playing golf. Perhaps he should be given more time to sort out his swing.
    The decline of the Scottish game has been decades in the making. It will take decades to sort and the starting point is youth policy.

  4. Charles L. Gallagher says:

    Let me say that I’ve no interest in this religion called football. So looking from the touch-line when oh when are they going to realise that you can’t make a ‘silk purse’ from a ‘sows ear’. However Mach1 makes a good point about youth policy but how about limiting the number of overseas players (including other UK Nations) in Scottish football and I’ll also add Rugby to this. Some years ago English Cricket was in much the same state as Scottish Football now finds itself and they slapped a limit of ‘two’ overseas players and look where they are now.

    Furthermore apart from Gordon Strachan I would clear out all the useless ‘high heid yins’ that rule the SFA and who appear to know nothing about management let alone football.

    1. Crubag says:

      “Some years ago English Cricket was in much the same state as Scottish Football now finds itself and they slapped a limit of ‘two’ overseas players and look where they are now.”

      Because the Bosman ruling by the European Court of Justice meant that no restrictions could be placed on EU workers – including footballers. Cricket is an international game, rather than European, so less competition from Belgian or Slovenian cricketers trying to get into county sides.

      But I’d agree with you on the larger point. This is entertainment production for spectators and for conversations/arguments/bonding moments with friends/colleagues/people in pubs. It’s like X Factor or Great British Bake Off. At the level of providing the grist for that mill, it is delivering. If we won all the time, we’d get bored.

      1. Charles L. Gallagher says:

        Crubag, but would it not be nice to win once in a while especially as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, even Ireland South & North etc all seem to do that!!!

        1. Jo says:

          @ Charles

          And don’t forget plucky Wales!

  5. barakabe says:

    What ever happened to Brian McClair- wasn’t he interested in interested in bringing in the kind of softball soccer played by the likes of Ronaldinho & Messi? The essential problem is that we have to develop kids skills & protect the more skillful players from the hammer throwers. In Scotland the knuckle-dragging mentality has been allowed free reign: the consequence of this mentality is a logic that says “big and strong boys are the best” & an encouragement of a “stick the boot in” style has prevailed all too often. Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, Ronaldinho, Alexi Sanchez obviously negate that flaccid argument. There are chinks of hope. We have the likes of Calvin Miller & Karaoke Dembele at Celtic, in fact Celtic are seemingly on the cusp of developing a series of prodigious talents- lets see how that pans out ( will the ‘big’ TV rich teams swoop like vultures at the first sight of such talent?)- but then the national team would benefit irrespective of their club trajectories I guess.

    1. Jo says:

      Yes, Brian McClair had a lot of ideas but the SFA got shot of him. Typical!

  6. barakabe says:

    Also Coaching has to be a factor: are Costa Rica any better than us? Certainly not. Look what they achieved with a very well organized team at the last World Cup. Iceland? Northern Ireland & Wales (with the obvious exception of Bale) have poorer squads than Scotland & yet achieve a lot more from their respective selections- coaching is an issue that needs to be addressed, that cannot be denied.

    1. Jo says:

      @ Barakabe

      “Iceland? Northern Ireland & Wales (with the obvious exception of Bale) have poorer squads than Scotland & yet achieve a lot more from their respective selections- coaching is an issue that needs to be addressed, that cannot be denied.”

      Do you think it’s just about coaching? I recognise Bale’s ability but what was incredible was how Wales, as a unit, operated with others in the team giving just as much as Bale did and meeting his level of commitment to the side in every way. The “one heart” in that team was a beautiful thing to see. Same with NI, Ireland and Iceland. I’m not sure Scotland has that any more. It’s so disheartening especially when you think back to an earlier campaign, under McLeish, where we beat France home AND away. No one had ever done that. That campaign was going well until we screwed up completely against Georgia, away.

      I’m also thinking back to when Scotland was producing so many players who went to the big teams in England. How many big clubs in England had at least three or four class players from Scotland? Scots were everywhere! At the same time we still had very good players playing here at home for Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen, Dundee United etc. Standards now have totally vanished, well, just about.

      To be honest I think England has suffered too following Bosman and the three foreigners rule. Look at the line-ups now at all the big English clubs. Look at what money has done to the game whereby all the big English clubs are spending zillions on players from abroad. Champions League is what it’s all about and dosh, dosh, dosh. And yet, Wales, NI, Ireland have somehow managed to retain some hope for their Teams while Scotland just languishes and achieves less and less. Strachan recently said he has to work with what he has which is fair enough……but why have Wales, NI and Ireland achieved so much more than we have in similar circumstances?

      1. Bryan Weir says:

        “Iceland? Northern Ireland & Wales (with the obvious exception of Bale) have poorer squads than Scotland”

        By what measure?

  7. Redgauntlet says:

    Agreed Duncan McKay, the only thing more embarrassing than Scottish fitba itself is the circus of clowns who are paid to haver on, who seem to think they have been hired by the BBC as comedians, rather than experts.

    Your local boozer offers more insight into the game than Tam, Stuart, Chick, Willie Miller, Billy Dodds and Craig Paterson put together…the only one who is of any interest is Tom English, and he is an Irishman.

    It didn’t used to be like that. Guys like David Francey were fitba anoraks, they were walking encyclopedias, they took football more seriously than anything else.

    As for Baza, he should be considered a traitor to the national game and ostracized. How can you expect anybody to respect Scottish fitba when a guy like Baza is paid to comment?

    I remember when Joe Harper, Billy Bremner and Arthur Graham all went on the piss AFTER a friendly in Denmark in 1976. The whole nation turned their back on them. Barry Ferguson should not be invited to the BBC. He was the Scotland captain and what kind of an example did he set?

  8. Matt Stewart says:

    You were spoiled on Monday…Tuesday saw the playground turn into an underage pub brawl. Graham Speirs, Tom English and Kenny MacIntyre sounded as if they had washed down some angry tablets with past its sell by date super lager, leaving….and this is a remarkable and outstanding achievement…..leaving Keith Jackson as the progressive voice of reason, logic and imagination.

    Sportsound now ranks alongside Call Kaye and Jeremy Kyle in the pantheon of the pathetic and pointless programmes of our time.

  9. Elaine Fraser says:

    Loved this piece, very funny. When I can be bothered to listen to football pundits we play a game in my house where I repeat back to my husband the nonsense I hear, the pure pearls of wisdom and profundity , its mind boggling. The truly annoying bit is that these so called ‘experts’ are paid for this rubbish. Mind you have you seen the latest special series from Reporting Scotland on inequality . Dear God, the background graphics are like something from the tellytubbies and the level of analysis so poor it beggars belief. One night Douglas Fraser was comparing those with ‘wealth’ ( big hooses ) as opposed to ‘income’ with as he said ‘ the other end of the scale ‘young football stars’ …I kid you not. Are these folk from another planet?

  10. Derek says:

    I heard that when it was on; didn’t really listen to it.

    I wholeheartedly agree about the John Lambie/Chic Charnley conversation. An absolute hoot.

  11. Darby O'Gill says:

    Why is the programme called Sportsound? I didnt see much reference to sport.

  12. Vronsky says:

    Idiotic commentary on idiotic commentary. Somebody get the subeditor out of bed, please.

    1. What’s the problem ‘Vronsky’?

    2. Bryan Weir says:

      I am with Vronsky on this one. A load of nonsense about a load of nonsense. Who do you expect to find on a football chat show, Barack Obama maybe?

      I don’t listen to it but I would wager that their craic is more adult than the president elect.

    3. Jo says:

      @ Vronsky

      Very harsh on Duncan Vronsky. I don’t see anything wrong with it. It sums up what passes for “commentary”. It’s an insult to most of us. And goodness knows we’ve enough to suffer as it is without dumping eejits on us to provide dialogue to accompany our agony.

      1. Agreed on all fronts Jo …

  13. Gordon Cairns says:

    Nothing beats Barry Ferguson’s comments on the show a couple of months ago on the problems of managing a part-time club: “Those players are literally working 12-hour shifts, going home, grabbing a sandwich and then coming back out to train.”
    Barry obviously believes everything the Clyde players are telling him: “Sorry I couldn’t reach that pass Mr Ferguson, but I started working at 5 0’clock this morning.”

  14. Alf Baird says:

    “What an absolutely riddy.”


  15. William Davidson says:

    Yes, it is indeed one of the great mysteries of life how Chick Young has managed to sustain such a long career in sports journalism : another mystery is why Sportsound (it really should be called footballsound) has to be on virtually every night, even when no fitba is being played. The pool of journalistic talent is simply too small to sustain quality, the only redeeming features being the occasional appearances of Wilson, English and, more rarely, of old Archie MacPherson. Its chief purpose seems to be to provide a benevolent fund for out of work managers and players. The match commentaries are even worse, with two summarisers from the latter pool being employed, when none would do, which means the commentator spends virtually all his time chatting with his pals, rather than telling us what is actually happening on the park. Their “open all mikes” format is even worse, people screaming and shouting over each other, among whom are individuals in possession of some of the most irritating voices in the history of broadcasting, step forward the aforementioned Chic, Alan Preston, Tam McManus, etc, etc.

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