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Man Utd boss Solskjaer follows in Sir Alex’s footsteps with Norwegian TV dispute


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is apparently in dispute with a Norwegian TV channel which will bring back memories of Sir Alex Ferguson’s feisty relationship with the media.

Ferguson went seven years without talking to the BBC after a documentary about his son Jason working as an agent while the ex-Manchester United boss also refused to do post-match written press conferences for years.

Now, Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet has revealed current United boss Solskjaer has given TV2 the cold shoulder – until he receives an apology from the TV station.

TV2 are allowed to attend press conferences and matches but, as rights holders, they are used to getting extra access and one-on-one post-match interviews with Solskjaer which, according to Dagbladet, have not happened since March.

It centres around TV2’s coverage of a rape case involving former Molde midfielder Babacar Sarr while Solskjaer was in charge of the Norwegian club.

The alleged victim insisted that Solskjaer should not have carried on picking the player.

Solskjaer’s issues with Norwegian TV bring back memories of Fergie’s BBC ban

TV2’s sports editor Jansen Hagen said: “He [Solskjaer] will not appear for an interview with TV 2’s journalists.

“He answers in English in joint sessions, but he does not give interviews to us on the field, in the interview zone, in the player tunnel or in other interview settings.”

Manchester United insist that Solskjaer has fulfilled all of his TV contractual commitments.

Refs worries over new offside guidance

Referees are voicing concerns the new guidance on offsides will lead to more serious injuries.

Linesmen and women are under orders not to raise the flags and to let play continue under new VAR rules so players will carry on playing until the whistle blows or when tight decisions can be checked.

However, the referee fraternity have raised concerns that by allowing play to carry on it will result in more collisions and clashes between players, especially as the offsides often come before a flashpoint when a player is clean through on goal.

It is unlikely the referees’ body the PGMOL can do much about it under law makers IFAB’s jurisdiction but it was perhaps highlighted by Jordan Pickford’s challenge on Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk’s season is over due to the challenge from Pickford

That was a case of wires being crossed but there is simply no way VAR David Coote would not have known the laws of the game. But clearly made a mistake in not getting referee Michael Oliver not to check his pitch side monitor.

It was quite a weekend for the Oliver household.

The Premier League referee lives in Newcastle, did the Merseyside derby on Saturday and then would have had to drive down to London to be VAR with Coote taking charge of Leeds v Wolves on Monday night.

Meanwhile, his wife Lucy, also a referee, annoyed Everton last weekend when she booked Brighton’s Kayleigh Green twice in their WSL game with Everton – but failed to send her off.

On top of all that, the FA appear to be favouring Anthony Taylor over Oliver for their nomination to be English football’s representative at the next World Cup.

Michael Oliver is having a tough time professionally

BT Sport’s TV choice

BT Sport have chosen wisely for their FA Cup coverage as they will show TV’s first live game (not behind the red button) with fans back in the stadium.

Bishops Stortford will play St Albans on Monday night with up to 600 fans allowed in for a place in the first round proper at stake.

It will be a breath of fresh air to see supporters back in a ground, BT Sport will play a valuable role in showing it can be done and yet it does make a mockery of the whole thing. 

Fans allowed in at non-league grounds but not in the EFL or at Premier League level. Everyone knows the complexities and delicate arguments but it is the inconsistencies which are annoying everyone.

Who will win this year’s FA Cup?

Another breakaway

Another week, another breakaway league proposal.

Clearly, timing is everything and while FIFA and Premier League clubs are trying to pick their moment, all of this comes down to cash, revenues and TV rights.

Italy is currently negotiating with a private equity firm to manage and invest in their TV rights deal and more will surely follow.

Pie in the Sky

The pay-per-view games in the Premier League have gone down so badly especially as there is very little value for money. It’s the game and that’s about it.

Sky have already done away with everything in their programming schedule, although Jeff Stelling’s Soccer Saturday has taken on a new dimension.

Tim Sherwood is an excellent no-nonsense addition plus the live EFL goals have actually improved it.

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