Alan Green (broadcaster)

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For other people named Alan Green, see Alan Green (disambiguation).
Alan Green
Born (1952-06-25) June 25, 1952 (age 62)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nationality British
Occupation Radio personality
Known for BBC radio football commentary

Alan Green (born 25 June 1952 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) has been a BBC Radio sports commentator since 1981, mainly on football but also on golf, rowing and the Olympic Games.[1]

Green was one of BBC Radio 5 Live's most senior football commentators and has been a winner of a Sony Radio Academy Award for Sports Broadcaster Of The Year.[2] He is noted for his forthright style of football commentary and has been involved in several controversies and disputes with managers including Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce.


After gaining an honours degree in modern history from Queen's University Belfast, Green worked in local newspapers until he moved to the BBC in 1975 as a news trainee[3] with the ambition of becoming a TV news producer.[4] Green presented current affairs on both radio and television in Northern Ireland,[3] before he moved to Manchester, joining BBC Radio's sport department.[4]

Green's first World Cup as a BBC commentator was in 1982 and in 1986 Green made his debut as an FA Cup Final commentator for the corporation. In 1989, Green was present at the Hillsborough disaster as a commentator.[5] In a 2009 radio programme marking the 20th anniversary of the disaster, Green spoke of his bitterness that justice had been denied for the 96 people who died at Hillsborough.[6]

Green's forthright commentary style has often divided opinion among radio listeners. He has won the admiration of some listeners for his honest assessments of football games and for his uncompromising opinions,[7] but he has also attracted some objections from others who believe he is harshly critical. In 2009, Fulham's head of communications Sarah Brooks protested that Green had been "insulting" towards Fulham after they lost 3-0 in the Premier League to Manchester United at Old Trafford.[8]

Green has disputed the notion that the English Premier League is the greatest in the world.[9] In 2013, Green wrote an article in which he said: "The Premier League I see week in, week out, isn't remotely as good as it thinks it is." In the article for The Belfast Telegraph, Green criticised what he called "woeful defending", "selfish, oafish behaviour" and "the underwhelming, overpaid footballers that populate the Premier League."[9]

In an interview with The Observer in 2009, Green said of his career as a sports commentator: "Apart from one time in 1984, I've never applied for a television job." Green said that he told a BSkyB executive, who had floated the idea of him moving from radio to the satellite channel, that he is too outspoken to work for Sky TV.[10] The Sky executive implored Green to "always accentuate the positive". Green told him that his role as a commentator was "to tell the truth, not to act as a propagandist."[9]

Disputes with football managers[edit]

Green has had an ongoing feud for over 20 years with Alex Ferguson following an incident in which Green said on air that he was "learning not to believe the propaganda that comes out of the Manchester United manager's office".[11] Green felt that he had been deliberately misled by Ferguson giving him inaccurate team news the day before a match.[10] In 2009, Green said of Ferguson: "He either bullies or frightens. It's the way he exerts his control over the media. He would be a fantastic propaganda minister. He knows how to manipulate and some of my colleagues take it in."[10]

In 2006, Green was banned from Bolton Wanderers' Reebok Stadium after accusing manager Sam Allardyce of playing "ugly" football. Following Allardyce's departure to Newcastle United, the club invited Green back.[12] In an article for The Belfast Telegraph in 2010, Green wrote: "Am I alone in thinking Sam Allardyce must be the most arrogant football manager that's ever lived?"[13] In January 2013, Green criticised Allardyce's style of play at West Ham United, which he described as "hitting the ball long and high to a big man up front."[14]

Other controversies[edit]

In 2004, Green was censured by Ofcom after he made a comment live on-air about Manchester United's Cameroonian midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba speaking pidgin English with the referee. Green said that Djemba-Djemba was saying "me no cheat" to the referee. A listener complained that it was inappropriate to suggest a black man was unable to speak grammatical English.[15][16] Green had previously described Manchester City's Chinese defender Sun Jihai as wearing shirt "Number 17 - that'll be the Chicken Chow Mein, then" during a live radio broadcast.[17]

In 2005, Green had a dispute with Everton fans after he wrote an article in which he suggested that manager David Moyes, "instead of raising expectations after Everton's fourth-place finish the previous season, should suppress them." Green's article led to him receiving some death threats.[11]

In 2007, Green commentated on a match between Everton and Reading at Goodison Park. Film star Sylvester Stallone was paraded on the pitch and Green joked about whether Stallone's limousine would still have wheels when he returned to it. This prompted an official complaint to the BBC by Liverpool City Council, upset at his stereotypical views about car crime in the city.[18]

Green is reported to have fallen out with a number of his broadcasting colleagues over the years. In 2009, Green was reported to have had a rift with former fellow BBC broadcaster Mark Saggers, that surfaced in on-air exchanges. Saggers left the BBC to join rival Talksport at the end of the 2008–09 English Football Season.[19]

On Sunday April 7, 2013, Green announced on air he had just presented his last 606 football phone-in show.

Departure from BBC Radio 5 Live[edit]

In August 2014, Green left BBC Radio 5 Live, it was reported that he was unhappy with the appointment of John Murray as Chief Football Correspondent upon the retirement of Mike Ingham.[20][21]

Departure from BBC Radio 5 Live[edit]

In August 2014, Green left BBC Radio 5 Live, it was reported that he was unhappy with the appointment of John Murray as Chief Football Correspondent upon the retirement of Mike Ingham.[20][21]

21. "Alan Green storms out from Radio 5".

22. "Alan Green leaves 5 Live in anger".

ALAN GREEN,BBC Radio 5 Live's Main And Senior Football Commentator.WIKIPEDIA.Friday,29th August,2014.

After checking,it appears that Alan Green HAS NOT LEFT THE BBC Radio 5 Live Station! Both the The Guardian and Daily Mail Newspapers who reported this spurious news,have removed these reports from their websites!

And if it were true,the British Broadcasting Corporation would have made a statement stating that Alan had left the BBC!

Some misguided people have got it in for Alan Green - do some of them work for The Guardian and the Daily Mail? Alan Green usually goes on holiday in August and does not start broadcasting again until about three or four weeks or more in to the new football season - While the cat's away the mice will play!

It should also be noted that other Guardian and Daily Mail Alan Green stories are still on their websites,but NOT the "Alan Green has left the BBC" reports! Alan Green would say in one word that these reports are "Garbage".

Without a doubt,Alan Green is one of the best ever football commentators in British broadcasting history,and the BBC website currently states that Alan Green forms a part of the BBC Radio 5 Live football commentary team for the 2014-2015 Football Season:-

QUOTE "Radio 5 live once again boasts the most extensive live radio commentary portfolio available. Philip Neville joins the line up for 2014/15 with Jason Roberts expanding his role, and John Murray becomes the new Football Correspondent and continues to lead on commentary alongside Alan Green." QV reference:-

It should also be noted that Alan Green has been the unfortunate victim of spurious and fabricated stories in the past,i.e.for example,Alan had a heart operation in September 2011 during the football season,therefore he was absent from broadcasting for a few weeks.

This sparked all sorts of rumours that the BBC had sacked him,that he had joined another radio station,and so on.All of these stories were,of course,garbage.QV reference:-

Furthermore,during a World Cup Football Tourment Brazil 2014 football match - Alan was doing the commentary - he publicly announced that he had a new contract with the British Broadcasting Corporation - BBC.

The BBC should make a definitive statement stating exactly the position of Alan Green! So please come on BBC!

Personal life[edit]

Green married Brenda on 29 March 1980.[22]


  1. ^ BBC - Radio Five Live Presenters - Alan Green
  2. ^ "Press Office - The Premiership on Five Live". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "BBC Sport: Alan Green". BBC News. 13 July 2001. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Anthony, Andrew (15 November 2009). "Alan Green: My dad used to tell me 'Shut up and watch the game'". The Guardian (London). 
  5. ^ "The blackest day in football's history". BBC News. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "BBC - Today". BBC News. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Press Office - Le Saux joins Five Live for new Premiership season". BBC. 26 July 2005. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Great Alan Green debate: Is Five Live commentator most annoying in Britain?". Daily Mail (London). 20 February 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "2013 is time to rid ugly side of beautiful game". The Belfast Telegraph. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Anthony, Andrew (15 November 2009). "Alan Green: My dad used to tell me 'Shut up and watch the game'". The Observer (London). Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Alan Green: Football's monster mouth ready to rile for another season". The Independent. 8 September 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  12. ^ The Bolton News, daily, Wanderers, Phil Gartside, Kelly, Reebok Stadium, tv, video, Bolton MP
  13. ^ "Alan Green: Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has one heck of an ego". The Belfast Telegraph. 22 September 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Joe Cole may live to regret West Ham switch". The Belfast Telegraph. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Ofcom raps football commentator". BBC News. 4 October 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "In brief". The Guardian (London). 5 October 2004. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  17. ^ sp!ked review of books |
  18. ^ Radio Today with United Radio..: Five Live upsets Liverpool
  19. ^ Mark Saggers lifted by new role with BBC's rivals
  20. ^ "Alan Green storms out from Radio 5". 
  21. ^ "Alan Green leaves 5 Live in anger". 
  22. ^ Alan Green (presenter) (29 March 2008). 606 (Radio broadcast). Campbell Davison Media for BBC Radio 5 Live. Retrieved 29 March 2008.