Sky Sports’ GoalLine
Sky Sports shave launched GoalLine, an interactive phone line created to help despairing football fans cope without any on pitch action for the next few weeks. By picking up the phone and dialling 0333 202 2177, you’ll hear the voice of excitable transfer deadline day maestro Jim White helping to remind you of the glorious moments (if you had any) from your club during last season, with audio clips taken live from sky sports. Sure, it’s a bit of fun and we don’t expect many of you are actually despairing, but as a tongue in cheek way to bust the boredom of these few weeks (if common wealth anti don’t float your boat), it’s a step in the right direction! We got to talk to the main man, Jim White, about Sky Sports’ GoalLine, the last season, that World Cup, and what may be coming in the 2014/15 season too.
What was your favourite moment from the last season?
That’s a tough one – in terms of transfer deals, I’ll always remember when Arsenal signed Mesut Ozil. I was on at the time, and before I knew it I was live with Mo Farah down the other end of a telephone line. He was as excitable and energetic as a kid – certainly not what I had expected! In terms of on the pitch, it was a fantastic season with twists and turns – Seeing Liverpool go so close but then capitulate towards the end was intriguing. The best thing about the GoalLine is that it’s easy for fans to remind themselves of their team’s best moments – they just need to call 0333 202 2177!
How have you enjoyed the World Cup?
Absolutely – it’s been one of the best tournaments in recent memory. What’s been most exciting for me is seeing the quality coming from every country. Having players pop up I’ve never heard of, and then hopefully seeing them come to the Premier League next season is tremendously exciting.
What’s been the best bit of that for you?
Well I don’t think you can look much past the performances of Germany. The way they took Brazil apart in their own back yard was astonishing – and to follow that up and take the trophy really made them worthy winners.
How will you be coping without football for the next few weeks?
I honestly don’t know – I may end up calling the GoalLine myself! We’ve been spoiled with a magnificent footballing summer, but these four weeks are sure to crawl by. I’ll be doing my best to relive the best moments from last season so I’m ready to go come August 16th.
What do you expect from the new season?
I think once again we’re going to see a very competitive season – all of the top six will be in contention, and then you’ve got the Van Gaal factor – I’ve met him in the past and I know for a fact that he will have a huge impact on Man Utd. They will certainly be back in the mix for 2014/15.
Any tips for the coming season? Who do you think will get top 4 or relegated?
Well, first up as mentioned, you’ve got to bring Man Utd straight back into the mix now they have Van Gaal – he will make a massive difference. Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City will be right up there, as will Everton and Liverpool, although without Suarez and now with the additional load of playing Champions League football, they may find it a struggle.
Relegation-wise, it’s too tough to call. There could be as many as seven or eight teams scrapping out there at the bottom. Those three that have come up will want to make strong starts, and ensure they get their squads in shape to cope with the rigours of the Premier League.
Who is going to do the best business in the market this summer?
I think all of the top teams will continue to spend – Arsenal and Chelsea have already done some great business with Sanchez and Diego Costa. Now with Liverpool having the Suarez money and Man Utd’s kit deal, those two will be making some huge signings, too. We’re already seeing some of the stars from the World Cup make their moves, and this will further increase the quality throughout the division.
What do you want to see happen on deadline day this year?
It’s too hard to say! Some big deals, for sure – and I fully expect there to be some. We know how many of the clubs like to leave it to the last minute, and I think this season will be no different. We’ve had Berbatov, Robinho, Ozil all making huge deadline day moves in the past, so I’d love for another one of those to happen.
How do you prepare for that? It’s quite an intense day!
It’s all about knowing as much as possible before you go. I’ll get in touch with all my sources to make sure I have the latest news, and also make sure I’ve got my phone close by! I remember a few years back when Harry Redknapp rang me during a commercial break, to tell me Robbie Keane was heading to Celtic. It’s a great buzz when you’ve got that news nobody else knows to break during the show.
So why should people call GoalLine and hear your voice?
Because how else will they cope until 16th August?! The GoalLine is great for fans – when testing with some of the clips, we could see how much relief it was providing and so I am certain it will have a great effect for all those fans seeking their football fix. It’s a great idea, and is sure to remind them to tune in for the start of the season, where Sky Sports will have more of the games that matter!
Call the Sky Sports GoalLine on 0333-202-2177 if you must!