Thursday, 8 September 2011

Lynchy, Lynchy, Lynchy

If you ever get a chance to listen to the Martin/Molloy skit 'Gordon Gordon', a parody of a certain strain of AM talkback radio programming, you'll come across the bit where they have an old fogie of a television reviewer as part of the regular guests.

The catch is, of course, that the quality of the programs he's reviewing are in no way related to what was on screen; rather, all the programs are judged by the quality of the food and wine at the relevant launch, as well as the gifts that all the press members at the launch receive. Hence, a Channel Nine program gets rave reviews, while a Channel Seven program gets slammed because of the crap food on offer and the keyring which fell apart as soon as he got home.

All of which leads to the point of this article. So, after the Twitter stoush between The Age's top-flight only soccer writer Michael Lynch and curmudgeonly academic Ian Syson, Lynch somehow managed to get one over the editorial top brass and sneaked in some VPL paragraphs into his regular reporting. The fact that we were supposed to be grateful for any coverage didn't seem to get past Lynch. It also didn't seem to get past the FFV, who invited Lynch to their Gold Medal night.

The photographic evidence in Goal Weekly seemed to indicate that Lynch had a pretty good time, and they even let him present the Bill Fleming Medal for the soccer press' player of the year to Richie Cardozo. Meanwhile as a holder of a media pass, which includes writing match reports and such, and even the occasional article for Goal Weekly, I'm still waiting for my voting slip. For the record, I would have voted for Andy Vlahos by the way, because of the added coaching responsibilities he undertakes in addition to his excellent season.

Anyway, I'm just about over the nonsensical situation of having a guy who admits he doesn't know when games are on because he hasn't been told - even though he's on the South Melbourne mailing list for example - getting feted like a king by the football authorities. Just about over that is, until I was informed about this little exchange on Twitter.

Michael Lynch @ KopThatWyld 4K for a Grand Final is disappointing. Maybe not the level of support that some assume - or was it just 2 lesser supported team
Ian Syson @MickLynch_Age @KopThatWyld #VPLcoverage ML, you gave some good coverage in recent weeks but 4K to a GF that received nil promo is quite ok.

Ah, Lynchy, couldn't help yourself could you? Nevermind that there was, as noted by Syson, basically zero promotion; that even though the game was played on a catch up week for most leagues, it was still played in direct opposition to most of those catch up games; that an offer of four free tickets to other clubs was only emailed late; that despite having two poorly supported sides in the final, the game still managed to have an increase of about 2000 spectators on the previous season's crowd, which also featured two poorly supported clubs.

No; despite the many things anyone could come up with to mitigate the supposed 'poor crowd', you still felt you needed to put down the VPL to try and score a personal point. And the FFV must feel great for having invited you to their annual aren't we awesome piss-up. Hell, half the people in the FFV offices have probably been to as many Victorian league matches as you have anyway. What you and they do is just a job - I mean, why should anybody working in such a field actually care about soccer after they clock off at the end of the working week?


  1. Lynch is a joke. He has always hated the traditional clubs, so nothing has really changed from him.

  2. The thing is, it's not as cut and dried as that.

    If you go through The Age during that transitional era from 2003-2005, you notice a shift. It goes from what looks like Lynch hedging his bets, and showing some sympathy to what might happen to the NSL clubs who won't join the A-League.

    And then there's a small bit of coverage of the early 2005 VPL season, when there's still good crowds... and then it just stops.

    You don't want to accuse a bloke of only worrying about the people who butter his bread, but considering the evasive, deflective and sometimes snide nature of his responses to the issue, it's hard not to come up with such conclusions.

  3. I interviewed him once for a Uni project, this was around 2005. He came across as very unsympathetic towards the NSL clubs. Let me tell you the snide remark is spot on, even talking to him on the phone that side of him comes across big time.

    Your right though about the VPL coverage in 2005, I remember a match report he did for the opening round clash between Knights and Preston. That in itslef makes his arguement that the Age never reports on second tier comps look like crap.


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