The BBC's footballing flagship Match of the Day had a week off on Saturday, thanks to the international break that sidelined Premier League football. After the heavy criticism the show has taken in recent weeks, including Stan Collymore's withering condemnation of "stale, clichéd and smug pap", it might almost feel like a relief.


Yet the problems assailing MOTD are nothing compared to those facing its masters at BBC Sport. The Beeb was once known as the home of everything from snooker to Test cricket.

But its dwindling presence on the big stage was brought home by the recent Ryder Cup – an event which, like last summer's Ashes series, proved that you can dominate the national sporting agenda without live coverage on terrestrial TV.

"It is a long-standing joke within the BBC that morale is always at an all-time low," one long-serving producer told The Daily Telegraph. "But the mood in the sports department right now is as poor as I've known it. I imagine it's a bit like working at the NHS: we seem to spend all our time dealing with layers of management, and jumping through hoops, when we just want to be doing our job."


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BBC Sport 'is like NHS'