We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…
Representation on TV is often weighted in favour of teams like Manchester United and Liverpool which can be hard for Everton fans to take, admits Kevin Campbell.
Toffees captain Seamus Coleman recently hit back at what he feels is an anti-Everton agenda from prominent Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher which came to the fore across last season, raising the issue of potential bias from pundits and co-commentators.
And while Campbell, himself a Sky Sports pundit, accepts that in terms of those who can fight Everton’s corner he is in a minority with Leon Osman the only other obvious name, he also feels that it will take more success on the pitch before the club is represented in the same way as the biggest sides in the country.
Speaking exclusively to Goodison News he said: “You can look at it that way [biased to Liverpool and Man Utd] and you can make a case.
“100% you can make a case for a club like Everton, who are a huge club, who haven’t been doing big things but the fanbase has still had that mentality that we are a big club.
“But the representation on TV isn’t quite there and that’s difficult for them to take.
“I think it’s a little bit weighted towards some of the other clubs.
“If we’re honest, when your club is doing well, that’s when you get more exposure, that’s what tends to happen.
“And the rate that Man City and Liverpool have been going over the last few years, even the likes of Arsenal have been nowhere near the coverage that they get.
“But you’ve got to earn it. You do have to earn that position.
“Luckily I’ve played for enough teams in my career that I can shout Everton’s corner. I can protect Everton’s corner.
“But football is a game of doing. If Everton do the business there would be a lot more people on shouting Everton’s cause, that’s for sure.”
“Leon Osman’s doing stuff for Premier League Productions, so stuff you might not see him but people outside of the UK see Ozzy doing Premier League Productions, so the boys are still working but just on Sky you won’t see him as much.”
Along with Carragher there is prominent Liverpool representation from the likes of Steve McManaman, Danny Murphy, Jamie Redknapp, Graeme Souness and Michael Owen across the broadcasters, while Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes are regulars from a Manchester United point of view.
That Micah Richards covers serial trophy winners Manchester City almost single-handedly with occasional appearances from Joleon Lescott shows it is not purely down to who is doing the best on the pitch.
The side from Anfield were always prominently represented by Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson for years when they were far from the top side, similar to the way United are now, and while there are other figures around from different sides the volume in favour of those two can lead to pervading narratives.
Just like refereeing decisions it will likely remain an issue that fans of other teams will feel always goes in favour of certain sides as it is only changing slowly if at all.