YOU would think that any newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch would be treading very carefully at the moment.

The Australian's media empire is under extreme scrutiny following the phone hacking scandal in the UK and Murdoch himself is seen as having had far too much influence with British politicians over  the past few years.


So it was rather surprising to see his daily tabloid The Sun come out with a crass headline about the new England football manager Roy Hodgson.

The Football Association has described the front page headline about Hodgson's manner of speech as "unacceptable".

The story, referencing Mr Hodgson's pronunciation of the letter R, has led to more than 100 complaints to the Press Complaints Commission.

FA chairman David Bernstein said: "We are delighted at the media response to Roy's appointment but are disappointed with the headline in The Sun, which we consider is in poor taste and disrespectful."

Peter Barron, editor of the Northern Echo newspaper in a blog post, commented: “Say what you like about The Sun but, more often than not, it gets it spot on in terms of its target market.  But when it gets it wrong it gets it badly wrong. This morning’s Sun front page, ridiculing Roy Hodgson’s speech impediment, is another misjudgement. It’s not funny, it’s not clever and it’s not right.”

A former editor of the Sun, David Yelland, wrote on Twitter: “So little compassion for Roy Hodgson today, bullying language, pointlessly cruel, pointlessly hurtful.”

Will they ever learn?

Football fans hoping to roar Hodgson's England team on in Euro 2012 will have to fork out an average of £4,300, according to a survey carried out by Virgin Money. They looked into the cost of travel, hotels, food, drink, tickets and replica shirts for the games in Poland and Ukraine.

Whilst still on the subject of money, I see that the Premier League has issued an invitation to tender for the domestic UK broadcast rights for the 2012-14 and 1025-16 football seasons. The current rights are held by Sky and ESPN and a challenge from Al Jazeera is also expected this time round. It will be interesting to see what sort of figures are bandied around considering the current economic climate.

The FA Cup Final in which Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-1 was a sterile and quite frankly boring affair. To arrange the game with two more rounds of Premier League fixtures still to play does not help the occasions stand out as the game's No.1 showpiece but that's football administrators for you.

I also noted that the £50 million spent by Chelsea on Fernando Torres and the £35 million spent by Liverpool on Andy Carroll did not guarantee either player a place in the starting 11. Money well spent then.

The strength of depth in the English game was clearly illustrated on Saturday when League One, the third tier of football, completed its fixtures. Champions Charlton drew 26,749 fans for their final game and Sheffield Wednesday clinched promotion by beating Wycombe in a game which saw 38,082 packed into their Hillsborough ground. Attendances that many top league sides in Europe would be delighted with.

Patrick O'Connor