Football was back on our screens this weekend, but one moment caused Bognor Regis hit out at BT Sport for what was said about non league.
The comments were made during the first ever Premier League to be broadcast at 3pm on a Saturday, which saw Brighton come out on top with a 2-1 win over Arsenal.
Neal Maupay scored the winner five minutes into added time over the Gunners, who had earlier seen goalkeeper Bernd Leno stretchered off.
Bernd Leno was not happy with Neal Maupay ?
— The Premier League is BACK on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 20, 2020
It was Pepe that opened the scoring with just over 20 minutes remaining, a superb curling shot gave Arsenal a deserved lead.
However Lewis Dunk slid in to bundle home an equaliser from close range following a corner seven minutes later.
Dunk’s goal VS Arsenal #BHAARS
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— FootballTV (@_FootballTV) June 20, 2020
After scoring for the relegation threatened side, comments were made, belittling non league.
Ian Darke, commentator for the game, could be heard saying: “Lewis Dunk must be used to playing in a stadium with no fans as he used to play for Bognor Regis Town”
He ended up getting slammed from the Isthmian League Premier Division outfit as well as the non league community.
Bognor took to Twitter, saying: “@btsport if you want to make disparaging comments about Non-League can we remind you how the whole #NonLeagueFamily is on its knees.
“Can we also remind you many current Premier League stars made their way into the game via Non-League football.
“@vardy7 being a good example ?
“‘Lewis Dunk must be used to playing in a stadium with no fans as he used to play for Bognor Regis Town’
“Very disrespectful comment @btsport about the whole of the non league game ?
“Lewis Dunk must be used to playing in a stadium with no fans as he used to play for Bognor Regis Town”
Very disrespectful comment @btsport about the whole of the non league game?
— Bognor Regis Town FC (@rocks1883) June 20, 2020
After one fan stated how it was a subtle dig from the commentator, the club replied: “It really was, many clubs will sadly not get through this and there we have those involved at the top making cheap shots and clubs who are literally “struggling to survive” on Prime TV ? #NonLeagueFamily”
Folkestone Invicta also had their say: “It was a shame to hear the comments on BT Sport such a shame they know nothing about Non League!”
No apology has come from Ian Darke as far as we know.
After Bognor Regis hit out at BT Sport for what was said about non league, fans also had something to say on the comments…
“Lewis Dunk must be used to playing in a stadium with no fans as he used to play for Bognor Regis Town” – snapshot of no fans at Havant away not too long ago. @btsport @rocks1883 @IanDarke pic.twitter.com/IBDbx1FflO
— Liam Goodley (@LiamGoodley) June 20, 2020
I’ve been to both Lewes and Bognor’s ground, give me that over the Amex any day
— Kieran Roper (@Kieran_Roper1) June 20, 2020
Seriously – as if Non League clubs don’t have enough issues at the moment without broadcasters making comments like that.
— Stuart Fuller (@theballisround) June 20, 2020
The comment was bang out of order
— Norman Smith (@deanstreetkid) June 20, 2020
Sorry to hear. Have they forgot they broadcast non league games themselves!
— christopher holmes (@mrcrh11) June 20, 2020
Don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology from @btsport. It’s all about the PL, sod the rest.
— Dave (@cleadonrambler) June 20, 2020
Absolutely no need for that. Pathetic.
— Phil Gibson (@PhilGibson1973) June 20, 2020
And BT are supposed to be the flag bearers for non-league TV coverage as well!
— Chris May (@ChrisMaywrite) June 20, 2020
Very poor comments that sort off sums football up at the minute. So much disrespect and no regards for grassroots football which is the bedrock of English football. Made up of fantastic true supporters and love for there clubs. #rocks #nonleaguefootball
— Robbieblake (@Blake1976Rob) June 20, 2020
Imagine saying this about a non league team with a fairly respectable fanbase. What a joke! Shows how much they know, idiots!
— Jamie (@jamiegrubb21) June 20, 2020
Bang out of order. ?
— UP THE MARINERS! #StaySafe (@UTM_Mariners) June 20, 2020
Shameful! So disrespectful to the grassroots community
— dave murkin (@sussexrhino) June 20, 2020
— Hayden.Larns (@HaydenLarns) June 20, 2020