The most fearsome creatures of all in modern football: TV executives

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<span>Photograph: Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images


Apparently there is a big colour problem in Italy. So this week Serie A authorities have taken decisive action to stamp it out once and for all. No derisory fines or mealy-mouthed statements, for this time the powers-that-be have issued an unambiguous, no-excuses permanent ban. That’s right, it has been announced that, as of the 2022-23 season, no team will be allowed to wear primarily green kits. Phew!

Authorities were warned that this ruling was likely to anger at least one notorious trouble-maker – who even put them on alert by declaring “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” – but they pressed ahead regardless and are braced for any hostile reaction. And that is no surprise, since the ban has been driven by complaints from the most fearsome creatures of all in modern football: TV executives.

Related: What a week for England, when arse-flare guy looks like our brightest spark | Marina Hyde

TV companies complained to the league that jerseys that are predominantly green are too similar to the colour of the pitch and blend into the background, making it difficult for viewers and anyone who is colourblind. So the league acted promptly to impose a prohibition. Obviously that opens the door for wise guys to start a black market league featuring teams wearing nothing but green, but authorities are said to be at peace with that risk. After all, no one can deny that teams such as the Republic O’Ireland are bloody hard to watch.

Mind you, an exemption has been granted to Sassuolo for the sake of tradition, as the club’s home kit has featured green and black stripes for as long as anyone can remember. But Atalanta and Lazio, who both had green away shirts last season, need to fall in line. And if Plymouth ever want to appear on Match of the Day, then perhaps they should tell their kit manager to get busy with some red dye.

Or maybe not red, because it appears that does not necessarily help avoid confusion either. Just this week the Manchester United defender Millie Turner took to social media disgrace Twitter to express her dismay at the club’s kit manufacturer and her own sponsor, Adidas, mistaking her for someone else when advertising the club’s new home shirt. “Considering I’ve been at Manchester United for three years and an Adidas athlete for two … You’d like to think Adidas would get my name right,” snorted the player after being identified in a caption photo as “Amy Turner”. Adidas came clean straight away, admitting: “Millie, we messed up and we’re gutted.” All very well, but you can’t help wonder whether they would have made a similar error with Nigel Fernandes or Brad Pogba.


“CV3 6QG bins not collect wed, why? This seems to be on off exercise but every year you increase Council tax by 5% so we have good service not excuses” – an irritated Coventry resident wants to know when their rubbish will be collected.

“We do not arrange bin collections, we are Coventry City Football Club. Hope it’s collected soon” – the Sky Blues point out that said resident’s tweet was about as wide of the mark as a Cobi Jones strike at Highfield Road in the mid-90s.

Sort it out, Cov!
Sort it out, Cov! Photograph: Keith Morris/Alamy Stock Photo


“In response to Flavio L’Abbate’s comment professing his love of the penalty shootout (Thursday’s letters), I shall channel my inner Mandy Rice-Davies and simply say ‘Well he would, wouldn’t he?’” – Allastair McGillivray (and no other sore losers).

“So Charlie Perry was simply trying to ‘unify the nation’ by huffing [unspecified] powder and sticking a flare up his @rse? Not so much ‘Dame Vera Lynn’ as ‘Shame? None Therein’” – Adam Smith.

“‘Fivering’? [Fiver letters passim]. That’s one of those portmanteau words where you put two words together to make a new one. Here, I assume the words are ‘Fiver’ and ‘[snip – Fiver lawyers] ing’” – Mike Wilner.

Send your letters to And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Rollover


Nuno Espírito Santo is having none of this “Kane to leave Spurs” business. “Harry is our player. That is period. No need to talk about anything else,” roared the new Tottenham boss.

Felipe Anderson has rejoined Lazio from Taxpayers FC after three peripheral years away.

It’s all going on at Benfica, where head honcho Luís Filipe Vieira has thrown himself out of the door marked Do one after being investigated for tax-knack and money laundering.

Former England rugby union player Mike Tindall has revealed how he tried to stop a depressing outbreak of naughtiness at the EN20 final.

In stark contrast, Bukayo Saka has spoken with great dignity about Sunday’s heartache and called for social media disgraces to do more to tackle abuse.

Crystal Palace have agreed a fee with Chelsea for the defender Marc Guehi, which could be as much as 20 million fat ones.

Liverpool’s new £36m centre-back Ibrahima Konaté say he will do exactly what it says on the tin. “I am big, I am strong and I am not scared with the ball,” he roared after checking in at the club.

And in more sizzling-hot transfer news: Bertrand has gone to Leicester, Saliba has been borrowed by Marseille and José Sá is now Wolves’ No 1.


Boris Johnson and Priti Patel must learn that others get burned when politicians play with fire, writes David Conn.

Short of players and without a manager, it’s all gone wrong at Swindon. Ben Fisher charts another rip-roaring triumph for EFL regulation.

Love Island’s Jeff Denzel hails the ‘brotherhood’ in the England camp, and he should know, we guess.

Catch up with the latest moves in our women’s and men’s transfer interactives.

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