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22nd Aug 2023

Sky Sports apologise to Everton after mocking team’s black armbands

Callum Boyle


The armbands were worn in tribute to a fan who died working on their new stadium.

Sky Sports have apologised to Everton for the “insensitive and regrettable” comments made during coverage of their 4-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Everton wore black armbands in tribute to Michael Jones, the 26-year-old fan who died while working on the building site of the Toffees’ new stadium last week.

Commentators Bill Leslie and Andy Hinchliffe were heavily criticised after they described Everton boss Sean Dyche looking “like a croupier” – with his white shirt and black armband.

A spokesperson for the broadcaster released a statement in which they apologised for the “upset or distress” caused by the comments.

They said: “Comments made during the Aston Villa v Everton game were insensitive and regrettable.

“We have spoken to everyone involved in the coverage including both the commentators and have reminded them of their responsibilities and the need for care and sensitivity. We apologise for any upset or distress caused by these comments.”

As per the Daily Mail, Leslie and Hinchliffe have both expressed their regret at making the comments.

Supporters at Villa Park held a minute’s applause in the 26th minute in tribute to Michael alongside banners commemorating his life and support to the club while Everton’s Under-21s team wore black armbands against Liverpool on August 14.

Everton plays Wolves this weekend where they will hope to bounce back from their disappointing performance against Aston Villa.

Last season Dyche was brought in to replace Frank Lampard and save the club from being relegated to the Championship, something which Lampard had done the year previous.

The ambition for 2023/24 is to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle at all, and build on the progress that Dyche had built already.

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