It was a bit weird by most normal standards of half-time punditry. Having tuned in to watch Spain’s latest performance in the Confederations Cup, after a fairly tepid first half, the action switched to the studio, expecting a fairly banal description of the game. Instead, it appeared that an eagle-eyed BBC employee had noticed a statement on Brighton & Hove Albion’s website declaring that one of the Studio pundits, Gus Poyet, had just been sacked, and that he had been notified of the decision. The Uruguayan’s expression of shock seemed to contradict that assertion.
It had been a long-running saga and doubtless the correct official procedures had been followed by both parties, and the club’s statement echoed this, adding the Poyet had the right to an appeal. All of this is fine of course, and the club have issued a further statement today including the line that "… Gus was well aware, before he appeared on the BBC last evening, that his dismissal was pending.”
During the transmission Poyet – and the BBC – were keen to confirm that no calls, texts, emails, etc had been received by Poyet before the statement was posted on the website. Some may argue that such an action is a discourtesy at least. One is left to wonder how much of Poyet’s attention was focused on the game during the second period.
I guess it will all come out in the wash as to how much of the truth each party is prepared to admit, but the five minutes or so of discussions about the situation far outweighed the entertainment value of a fairly sterile forty-five minutes of football. It wasn’t quite a Sir Alan Sugar “You’re fired!” moment, but perhaps there’s an option for spicing up more punditry in the future by dropping apparently unscripted sackings into the mix.