Donnelly admits he doesn’t miss football as much as he thought he might

THE sports broadcaster, Dougie Donnelly, says he does not miss football as much as he thought he might, after swapping football for golf.

The latest subject of The Herald’s Face-to-Face interview series, Donnelly left BBC Scotland five years ago, to work for European Tour Productions, which broadcasts golf to 80 countries, including the UK, albeit the carrier, Sky, uses its own commentators.

Regarding his departure from the BBC, Hugh MacDonald quotes him, as saying: “[The move to ETP] came at a good time for me and for them. There was less sport for me to do and a lot of the time when they wanted me to do a live game I was on the other side of the world [working part-time with ETP]. To be frank, they needed to save money because the licence fee had been frozen for five years.”

And later, MacDonald quotes him as saying: “I have not missed football as much as I thought I would. I don’t know whether that is because we are not going through a particularly good spell at the moment. For example, if Scotland had qualified for the [European Championships] this summer I would have wanted to have done that.”

He later continues: “Europeans are now dominating the world of golf and it is a great time. I sense that the barriers have come up in football between players and journalists which were never there. You could take someone out for lunch and have a laugh and confidences were respected but that seems to have changed dramatically.

“But I sense it is still there in golf. We travel on the same planes and stay in the same hotels so there is a genuine rapport. I always have lunch with the Scots lads on tour such as Stephen Gallacher, Alastair Forsyth, Paul Lawrie and Marc Warren.”