“PREM boss in sex video shame,” screams the front page of today’s News Of The World. Gosh. Which major A-list celebrity are they trying to humiliate this weekend? Oh, it’s the manager of Derby County.
Yes, just when it seemed as though Derby’s season couldn’t get any worse, their manager is now being plastered all over the nation’s favourite scandal sheet.
The News of the World is at its happiest when running two-page stories about a celebrity having sex with someone they shouldn’t be, preferably with a bit of nose flour involved.
But by the standards of their usual Sunday exposes of the rich and famous, their investigation into Paul Jewell’s private life seems a bit, well, flaccid.
As far as I can tell from the report, Jewell allegedly appears in an a hour-long sex video with a married woman who isn’t his wife. (Or, as they put it: “Paul’s been sharing crown Jewells with married woman.”) Not particularly pleasant, but it’s not going to bring down the Government, is it? There weren’t even any drugs involved.
It’s hard not to feel that the NOTW were just hanging on to the Jewell story for a quiet weekend. After all, there have been stronger stories about football personalities behaving badly this month.
Take, for example, the recent Sunday Mirror story which alleged that Southampton’s Nathan Dyer looted through handbags in a nightclub while team-mate Bradley Wright-Phillips kept watch. (The pair were fined two weeks’ wages by the club shortly afterwards.) Now that’s a scandal.
It fills you with joy, football, sometimes, doesn’t it?
Last night’s final match: Middlesbrough 1 Derby 0
Commentator: Alistair Mann
Jewell appears again elsewhere in today’s News of the World: in the sports pullout, trying to explain away Derby’s 23rd league defeat of the season.
“We haven’t got the killer instinct,” he said. “We were good last week against Manchester United but can’t put two performances together. We are consistent – consistently bad.”
Derby are also consistently last on Match of the Day. An astonishing 11 of their 31 league matches this season have brought up the rear.
That is pretty much certain to increase to 12 next Saturday, when they host Fulham. That would maintain their four-point lead at the top of the Gubbometer with six weekends of the season to go. The Last on MOTD title is all but mathematically theirs.
And that’s a story you won’t be reading about in the News of the World. Unless, of course, I make a sex video to go with it. Which I won’t.
1. Derby: 11 (Gubba difference: +1)
2. Fulham: 7 (GD: +2)
3. Wigan: 7 (GD: +1)
4. Birmingham: 6 (GD: 0)
5. Reading: 5 (GD: +1)
6. West Ham: 5 (GD: 0)
7. Gubba: 4
8. Bolton: 4 (GD: +1)
9=. Aston Villa: 3 (GD: 0)
9=. Chelsea: 3 (GD: 0)
9=. Sunderland: 3 (GD: 0)
12=. Blackburn: 2 (GD: +1)
12=. Portsmouth: 2 (GD: +1)
14=. Millwall: 2 (GD: 0)
14=. Walsall: 2 (GD: 0)
14=. Middlesbrough: 2 (GD: 0)
17=. Everton: 1 (GD: 0)
17=. Newcastle: 1 (GD: 0)
17=. Cardiff: 1 (GD: 0)
17=. Wolves: 1 (GD: 0)
17=. Bury: 1 (GD: 0)
17=. Workington: 1 (GD: 0)
17=. Huddersfield: 1 (GD: 0)
17=. Grimsby: 1 (GD: 0)
(NB. Where teams are level, positions are decided by Gubba Difference; the number of times a team is on Match of the Day last with Tony Gubba commentating.)