TELEVISION / BRIEFING: When money's not the only goal

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The Independent Culture
Robert Cookson, a Manchester United fan, comes down off a championship-winning Cloud Nine to present Sit Down and Shut Up, tonight's OPEN SPACE (7.40pm BBC2), a gripe about the commercialisation of football. Unfortunately, Ray Hough's documentary is more of a plodding midfielder than a dashing striker. An array of fans sound off about the ignorance of some club chairmen, the type patented by Warren Clarke in The Manageress. Cookson and his contributors proceed to reel off the familiar arguments about extortionate prices for seats from which you can only partially see the players and television deals that have turned the game into a 'product'. John Mackin, a Liverpool fan in a Bill Shankly t-shirt, tells of his campaign to save the Kop, and Rogan Taylor waxes sentimental about how the sun has fallen on his left cheek at every Anfield match for the past several years. This sort of territory has already been well-covered by Standing Room Only on television and Six-O-Six on the radio. Nevertheless, any parent who has ever had to fork out for a replica club shirt, which appear to be changed every season, should have sympathy with Cookson's contentions.

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