Increasing the Football League’s television coverage

It is often said that the Football League does not receive enough television coverage. The BBC’s Football League Show is broadcast so late that it disrupts sleep patterns, Sky are obsessed with the Big Four (or whatever the number is these days) and nobody else bothers to even bid for any rights. So, a solution…

We need to raise the profile of the Football League across the nation’s television screens. How else to do this but to send our best men out into the field in an attempt to bring back the humble viewer and get them interested in Morecambe versus Accrington?

The Seventy Two enlisted the help of some of the leading lights in the Championship, League One and League Two to try to boost the appeal of the three divisions, with mixed results…

“Hellooooooooooo! I’m Ainsley Harriott and welcome to Can’t Cook Won’t Cook. I know I haven’t presented this programme for years but let’s not split hairs. It’s very simple – we give two contestants five pounds each and they have to go and buy some ingredients for our fabulous chefs to cook up! Then it’s time for the studio audience to vote! Who will win? Green peppers orrrrrrrrrrr red tomatooooooooooooooes? Let’s meet our first contestant…”

*sparse applause as dour, miniature Scotsman angrily strides on set*

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Billy from Nottingham…”

*Billy snarls into the camera, to gasps from the elderly audience*

“What have you brought in for us Billy?”

“Well, Ainsley, I’ve brough’ in some peas, carrots, cauliflower… but that’s nae the point here. I’m doing my best wi’ this budget but what ye’ve got here in this shopping bag are some very fresh, very raw, very naive ingredients an’ ye cannae expec’ them tae perform every week…”


Following the wholly unsuccessful experiment of sending Billy Davies onto a cookery programme, we briefly discussed the idea of Derby County midfielder Robbie Savage becoming a ubiquitous media expert on the beautiful game but this concept was quickly dismissed as ludicrous. Which led us to this…

“Hi, I’m Brian Cox and welcome to Masters of the Universe, or whatever that programme is called that everyone goes on about on Twitter. With us tonight, we have a special guest to talk about the solar nebulus. So, Gustavo, can you tell the audience a bit about the Milky Way’s autonomous classification of cumulonimblical fraternisationazoids?”

“Ees complicated.”

“Hmm… interesting stuff, I agree it’s a complex subject matter and your expert knowledge is much appreciated. How about adding some depth to our understanding of the asteroid belt’s relationship with Jupiter’s quasi-sociological bollard theory?”

“…Ees complicated.”

“Such insight, we can only marvel at this new information. One last question – can you shed any light on the borderline aspects of reality forming unqualified possibilities of generic ratification in the lunar nexus?”

“…………………Ees complicated.”


At this point, I’ll be honest. After toying with the idea of re-making Auf Wiedersehen Pet starring Scunthorpe United boss Alan Knill on the tenuous basis that he looks a bit like a Geordie builder from the 1980s, we very nearly gave up.

But then we remembered how we packaged up Leon Best and sold him to the Premier League where he became a roaring success, how we managed to flog Jonathan Walters to the top flight where he became a roaring success, how we gave the wider world the gift of James Perch… and, against all odds and despite some tight deadlines in other parts of our lives, we cracked on…

“Hello!!!!!! I’m Paddy McGuinness and welcome to… TAKE… ME… OOOOOOOOOOOUT! We’ve got 50… 20?…35?… we’ve got lots of lovely ladies waiting to see who comes down the Love Lift tonight and they’re looking for luuuuuuurve! Remember girls, no likeh, no lighteh…”

*Audience whoops and cheers enthusiastically*

“So it’s time for the bee to meet the honey! SINGLE MAN, REVEAL YOURSELF!”

*Rod Stewart song blares out, first cowboy boots and then a pair of tight leather trousers followed by a bare, ballooning, grey-haired chest appearing down the love lift…*

*gasps of shock, horror and general disbelief*

*Every girl turns off her light simultaneously and shields her eyes*


Oh, Neil…

The Seventy Two
The Seventy Two published an outstanding series of articles about the Football League between 2010-12 and was the brainchild of Leicester City fan, David Bevan. As well as collaborating with The Two Unfortunates on the Football League Blog Network and a mammoth 2011-12 season preview, the site featured a host of leading bloggers and David was rewarded with a nomination in the 2011 Football Supporters’ Federation awards. Latterly, he was joined as co-editor by Joe Harrison and TTU is happy to present this archive of the site’s output.

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