Hero or Villain: Greg Dyke


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The Independent Online

Ex-BBC TV DG to FA. Lovers of acronyms across the country will no doubt be cheering the news that Greg Dyke is to be the next chairman of the Football Association.

As for the rest of us? Surely Joseph Barton, that great sage of the modern game, summed up popular opinion when he offered via Twitter, "What the fuck does Greg Dyke know about football? Yet, another bureaucrat, placed in a position way to [sic] large for his domain expertise ... Football needs football people right now." Well, quite.

Let's break it down and see just why appointing Dyke is such an own goal. His first "domain expertise" – really? – came in television. More specifically, it was at LWT, where he inflicted The Six O'Clock Show on the world. It was a prototype of the sort of tabloid TV that has led inexorably to the very idea that news can be entertaining and accessible. What was he thinking?

After that, he revived TV-am by making a personality of Roland Rat. It was as if he was rubbing our faces in the Black Death.

And if resurrecting one moribund station weren't enough, he only went and seduced our poorly Auntie. OK, he made her better by reducing admin costs, restoring staff morale and challenging the "hideously white" make-up of the corporation – but then he was forced to walk out on her after the Hutton report into the death of David Kelly. And so his love affair with TV ended.

What's he been up to since? That's right, Joey Barton, nothing football-related. Oh, apart from being a director at Manchester United. And a non-executive director at Brentford FC. And, what's this? Now he's pledging "to make thoughtful changes that will benefit the England team" by ensuring "that more talented young English footballers are given their chance in the professional game at the highest level"? Get off it, Dyke: you're a dreamer, man. And don't you dare take away from us our right to grouse about our national team ….