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The Top 10 Sports Stars on Social Media – and Who You Should Be Following

There’s no doubt that the impact of social media on the sporting industry has been huge, with sponsors clambering to strike a deal with the latest hot property from all sporting professions. The top two football teams on social media, Barcelona and Real Madrid, boast a combined media value of $42.5million alone and command an audience of 286million, as fans from across the globe not only support their heroes from the side lines, but from their laptops too.

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Will Sky Sports regret the departures of Gray and Keys?

You’d have to be living on the moon to miss the furore caused by sexist comments made by Sky Sports’ Andy Gray and Richard Keys about female assistant referee, Sian Massey – but in the long run who will be the real losers?

Not only are the pair looking for alternative employment, but Sky Sports has arguably lost two personalities who were ‘part of the furniture’ having been immensely popular with millions of armchair football fans since the Premier League began in 1992.

It remains to be seen whether Sky Sports will rue its decision to dismiss Gray, which led to the inevitable resignation of Keys as the channel’s main anchorman. Perhaps they’ll be reinstated, but probably not, as you can’t help thinking there were deeper reasons for Gray’s sacking after the discovery of ‘further incriminating evidence’.

Both will be back I’m sure, but where? It’s hard to see that their careers will be damaged as badly as Ron Atkinson’s when he made racist comments off air about Chelsea’s Marcel Desailly, whilst commentating for ITV in 2004 – he’s now seemingly restricted to local radio phone in shows.

Women in football

Little did Sian Massey know when she was warming up to officiate at the Wolves v Liverpool match that she’d be at the centre of so much controversy. So what does the future hold for her? She’ll certainly be subjected to a few light-hearted catcalls from the stands at her next game. However, being in the spotlight could actually elevate her career and boost the profile of women in football – we’ll wait and see.

With football fans divided as to whether the whole episode was harmless banter or not, it will be interesting to see whether Sky’s viewing figures are affected. I doubt it, as football fans are fickle creatures who’ll thank Gray and Keys for the memories and look forward to the next star signing.

Corrupt decision or just plain old sour grapes?

2018 World Cup

It seems that the fallout from England’s failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup is set to rumble on. What’s more, the debate about whether we have genuine reason to feel aggrieved or whether we’re just wallowing in self pity will split football fans across the nation.

Media pundits are predictably spinning out their forthright views, amongst which are some interesting comments and support from unlikely sources. Blackpool’s colourful gaffer, Ian Holloway, suggesting (tongue-in-cheek of course!) that The FA would have been better dividing the estimated £15M they coughed up, into brown envelopes marked for Fifa’s attention!

And, with Manchester United’s dyed-in-the-wool Scots manager Sir Alex Ferguson, being quoted in today’s Sunday Express labelling the decision as ‘an insult to English football’, sympathy hasn’t been in short supply.

However, what always appeared to be an awkward alliance between Prince William, David Beckham and PM David Cameron, is now being questioned retrospectively by one of the trio themselves.

Not surprisingly, the felon is a certain Mr Cameron, using his political powers to act like a teenage boy reacting to being dumped with claims his ‘ex was a munter anyway’ – he’s said to be furious at being associated with the bid for what was a major embarrassment and is demanding an overhaul of The FA’s heirarchy. Maybe you should’ve stuck to polo or rugger Dave!

No doubt though, the conspiracists have every reason to brood – despite it appearing to be the best technical submission, England’s bidding power appears to have gone backwards with a paltry two votes received in Zurich – even its similarly unsuccessful bid for the 2006 competition managed three more than that total.

Whatever peoples’ opinions, the only thing we can be sure of is that we’ll never really know the truth. So, let’s wish the Russians luck and look forward to turning up at someone else’s party in eight years time!