The Rambles of Neil Monnery

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The curious case of Mark Bolton

with 44 comments

Up until a few weeks ago Mark Bolton had been the front man for Spanish Football on Sky Sports. He had been in the position for six years and he had something that wasn’t exactly the norm within the company – an opinion and a personality. That has seemingly ended his stint with Sky.

On twitter he posted on June 3 ‘After 6 years the season just past will be my final one presenting Spanish Football for Sky Sports. I will not be renewing my contract.’ and would go on to use twitlonger to further he message:

Mark Bolton will not be renewing his contract at Sky Sports.

After 6 successful and enjoyable years presenting Spanish football for Sky Sports, this past season will be my last.
My current Sky contract expires in August and I will not be renewing it.

Spanish football enjoys greater popularity now than ever and whilst sad to leave a product for which I have great affection, I am proud to have played a significant role in its development over the past few years. I am grateful to Sky Sports for their support in allowing me to do so.

Having expressed a long felt desire to take on new challenges, I have concluded these will be more successfully pursued outside of Sky Sports.

I wish the team every success.

Mark Bolton.

All seems fair until he posted this on June 22, ‘Sky Sports told me Im (sic) “Very talented & excellent on screen” but that Im (sic) “Anti-authoritarian” & that they’d decided to not renew my contract.’ So basically they didn’t like his attitude and wanted rid of a potential troublemaker within the company. Well that is their right of course but it seems clear enough that they would prefer a bland ident-i-kit presenter to someone with a bit of spark and that is a shame. As someone who has been labelled as similar in the past I can see his frustraition. Sometimes you can’t fight the regime even when you are right. People do not like to be told when they are wrong – certainly by people who they are paying – and the ability to know when to shut up is one I might not possess either.

There is a fine piece over at WSC entitled A rare good broadcaster leaves Sky Sports which is right on the money. Whilst I don’t put Mark Bolton up in James Richardson’s class – Bolton had something. Now we are left on Sky with Stelling (who is fine but not anywhere near as good when taken out of the Soccer Saturday studios), Jones (who is fine but nothing special) and Chamberlain (who seemingly in my eyes is the best of the three). I haven’t included Shepherd as he’s just not up to it, seemed a strange hire from the start and he just doesn’t fit.

So what will Sky do? They have yet to announce if they intend to hire from within in the football presenting team to replace Richard Keys full-time and now they have the Spanish football job available too. Will they continue with the status quo on EPL games with the current mis-mash of Jones/Chamberlain or will they give one of them the main EPL job and the other Spanish football? My fear is that Ed Chamberlain will be the new face of Spanish football on Sky with Dave Jones being the main EPL anchor with Ben Shepherd doing the odd game when needs be.

All in all the whole Sky Sports Football output has gone downhill in the past year. Losing Ian Darke to ESPN in the United States was the first blow then Keys and Gray whilst not being everyone’s cup of tea were well known and consistent. The parade of co-commentators since Gray has left has been bewildering and the yo-yo of Jones and Chamberlain as the face of the channel’s most important and iconic sport event has not sat well.

To be honest I’m disappointed in Sky with how they have dealt with the whole football department in the past six months or so. You have to hope Mark Bolton turns up somewhere soon and that Sky Sports can get their house in order sooner rather than later.

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Written by neilmonnery

July 7th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Football

Tagged with ,

44 Responses to 'The curious case of Mark Bolton'

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  1. Bring back Mark Bolton…i’m so pissed! He and Guillem had such good chemistry on camera…made melove the show. now it is insipid and stale!

    izzy

    14 Sep 11 at 4:23 am

  2. Real Shame about Mark. He really made the programme. will probably switch it over once I hear report on Barca and Real now. Due to the chemistry between mark and the other presenters it made watching the programme very enjoyable and gave an interest to the goings on at the other clubs.

    Scott Minto has some big boots to fill and so far its proved a real hard act for him to follow.

    Its a good thing that Sky has very little competition otherwise they would be bang in trouble! But then they probably would do moves like this, which follows on from Tim Lovejoy leaving Soccer AM. That show is so poor now I hardly ever watch it.

    Dennis

    17 Sep 11 at 10:37 am

  3. We were wondering what had happened to Mark B – Spanish footie just isn’t the same. He was not only well versed in the Spanish game he could also manage the Spanish pronunciations. We are very disappointed to learn that he will not be back for the new season of Spanish football, and Revista a poor shadow of its old self – no more Guapa! It just isn’t the same and Scott Minto has an awful lot to do to convince this family that he is fit for purpose! Thank heavens Guillem is still there………………

    The Broons

    17 Sep 11 at 8:11 pm

  4. i believe sky have made a huge mistake getting rid of mark bolton.he was a very talented presenter with alot of wit and class.revista de la liga was one of my favourite shows on sky sports,purely because of the banter that went on in the studio(the bar),and they have lost a loyal viewer because will not be tuning in again.As for scott minto he is just an ex chelsea reserve with personality or sense of humour i am not a fan. BRING BACK MARK BOLTON!!!!!!!!!!!!

    mark b

    18 Sep 11 at 7:31 pm

  5. tragedy….was wondering what had happened to this enigmatic presenter….get him back pronto,VAMOS

    bradboff

    18 Sep 11 at 8:03 pm

  6. Used to love Revista with Mark. Now, sorry but it’s no good.

    I doubt though we’ll have to worry too much about Mark, quality always rises 🙂

    Alex

    19 Sep 11 at 1:46 pm

  7. Spanish football presentation is now so insipid,What is Sky doing -ruining good programmes to save money?

    Stuart

    19 Sep 11 at 2:38 pm

  8. Cant believe it…No one can replace such a great professional he was the best during the 6 years he has been the front man for Spanish football, making the best team possible with Balague.Sky sports will never be the same.Someone has lost the head in Sky…what a shame!

    Elias

    21 Sep 11 at 9:25 am

  9. I’ve now stop watching Spanish Footbal on Sky Sports. Revista De La Liga is now just a shadow of its old self. I can’t wonder thinking now which is the odd one out (Balague, Hunter, Gibson, Minto).

    Just a shame that this once great show has some how lost a bit of sparkle & class.

    Mark Bolton in my eyes isn’t too far behind James Richardson as being one of the most charismatic and refined football presenters that we’ve seen in a very long time.

    Markus

    21 Sep 11 at 10:48 am

  10. Have to agree with comments on here, wondered what had happened to Mark, he was a brilliant presenter alongside guillem, Scott Minto is boring and doesn’t seem to show much enthusiasm, unless its because he is new to it and gets better as it goes on but he reminds me a bit like John Barnes when he commentates, Dull.

    Steve Round

    21 Sep 11 at 9:54 pm

  11. My god does sky’s coverage of Spanish football moss Mark…Scott Minto is so bland and quite obviously a yes man for them, the show has no personality any longer…watched at the weekend and again now as I type…turning over at half time/full time.

    Bad move sky, very disappointed. Many a night we’d watch Spanish football before heading off for our night out…wouldn’t be as fussed now! 🙁

    Willsy

    21 Sep 11 at 10:05 pm

  12. Used to enjoy Revista De La Liga,The new presenter is dull and
    uninteresting .The program used to be fun to watch….now
    it’s the off button!!

    Helen Burn

    22 Sep 11 at 4:23 pm

  13. SKY HAVE NOT GOT A CLUE HOW CAN THE SACK SUCH A GREAT AND POPULAR PRESENTER AND REPLACE HIM WITH SOME ONE LIKE SCOTT MINTO WHO HAS NOT GOT A CLUE THE PROGRAMME IS SO BORING NOW WILL NOT BE WATCING IT AGAIN

    GEORGE FRENCH

    25 Sep 11 at 10:07 pm

  14. Talking about sport mustn’t be mechanical. Too many facts and stats and its boring and too serious. Too much banter (i.e Goughy, Chicken Irani) and its too showbiz, sycophantic and just excruciting to listen to and just not funny.
    To be a good broadcaster you’ve just got it or you haven’t! Mark Bolton was good ask the viewers..Sky have made a big mistake… Revista De La Liga is not the same programme – watch the programmes from last season, especially the ones in and around Barca beating Madrid 5-0. Scott Minto is a nice man but he’s not a broadcaster.

    Frank Puskas

    26 Sep 11 at 1:11 pm

  15. Totally agree. Me and my housemates always tuned in to watch Revista which was made by the banter between Bolton, Balague, Hunter et al. (particularly the light bullying of the latter which was always highly amusing).

    The programme is now bland and is virtually unwatchable. Used to be the best football programme on the box. Without Bolton it’s dry as a bone now. Shame.

    Will Reynolds

    26 Sep 11 at 6:17 pm

  16. Scott Minto is just pony. Dull as dishwater – goes to show what happens when you replace talented journalists with bland footballers. Ben Shepherd is just as bad!!! Good luck Mark.

    Jay Moore

    27 Sep 11 at 6:24 pm

  17. The show has lost it’s fizz! What were Sky thinking? They are acting like a dictatorship regime, when they should be encouraging and developing talent such as Mark Bolton.

    Rod

    1 Oct 11 at 12:00 pm

  18. I was just watching the Spanish Football and it does not seem the same without Mark Bolton presenting the show. Scott Minto is OK in the studio covering the Football League Games and his thoughts of those games but not Spanish Football.
    Bring Back Mark Bolton.

    Rigsby

    1 Oct 11 at 8:15 pm

  19. Thank God he is gone he was so pro-Barcelona in Revista de la Liga. He was turning the show into a Barca appreciation fan club. He clearly dislikes Mourinho and Real Madrid and he took it too far with his criticism.

    Benni

    4 Oct 11 at 12:51 pm

  20. Must say that Neil Monnery is absolutely bang on the money, a genuinely great article and i totally agree, although no-one comes close to James Richardson, Mark Bolton was an excellent presenter, he was always enthusiastic and knowledgeable about La Liga and along with Guillem and Graham they produced a show which, in my opinion, is the best football show on tv, along with Soccer Saturday which is still brilliant. If only MOTD was as interesting i might bother to watch it instead of falling asleep. The thing that impressed me most was that they actually had discussions about current topics where they actually had opinions of there own unlike Snoozefest of the day where Alan Shearer just says the same thing EVERY week!!. That said whilst i think Mark will be missed on the show the real stars are Guillem and Graham (and Terry is excellent to)who in my opinion are the best two football journalists around. Also i think Scott Minto is pretty good so it is still a good show. Completely agree with your analysis of SS current presenters, Chamberlain is v.good, Jones is just ok and Ben Shepherd (lovely guy) but a terrible football presenter, i just cant watch Goals on Sunday its just embarrassingly bad. So it looks like there is only one solution……………James Richardson to head sky sports football?? Thought so!!

    Nick

    4 Oct 11 at 7:14 pm

  21. A great mistake trying to replace a classy Mark Bolton. Sharp, witty and with a humerous approach to presenting football,which, has become so academic and stuffy on Sky. A loss Sky will come to regret. Adios mi amigo!

    Tony Mallalieu

    16 Oct 11 at 9:44 pm

  22. A great mistake trying to replace a classy Mark Bolton. Sharp, witty and with a humerous approach to presenting football,which, has become so academic and stuffy on Sky. A loss Sky will come to regret. Adios a mi amigo!

    Tony Mallalieu

    16 Oct 11 at 9:46 pm

  23. the problem with mark bolton , was that he plainly got above himself . in the same way that the likes of peter alliss ( golf ) and gary lineker ( bbc footie ) gradually begin to show so much hubris and self-importance that they simply stop doing their job.
    my missus watched the show with me , and in the way that only women can , she rumbled his vanity early doors …. whether it was perched on his bar stool or staring into the the camera lens , the guy has a self-absorbtion problem . he’s a lynx advert !
    unlike guillem or hunter , he simply cant make a modest remark without drawing attention to HIMSELF . good riddance…

    duff

    22 Oct 11 at 10:38 pm

  24. I don’t know about all of that, all I know is that he made me at least want to watch the programme to the end rather than just seeing what was going on the Barca and Real.

    He was more opiniated than the normal presenter but that always comes with knowledge of the subject matter.

    Anyway the Scott Minto doing his best, and may become very good in time, but all I know is if Mark came back tomorrow 95% would be quite happy about that!

    Den

    23 Oct 11 at 2:04 am

  25. I was wondering why he hadn’t been on this season. Never thought he had ‘left by mutual consent’, i.e. sacked.

    Great shame really. He has a good knowledge of the game and knew his stuff when it came to Spanish football. So what if he had an opinion? It’s better than the talking heads we have on most sports shows, especially MOTD and ITV’s derisory Champions League coverage.

    Scott Minto is ok. He’s probably ‘safe’ in Sky’s eyes. But he is a bit bland, and at times he looks like a rabbit in the headlights. Hopefully Mark Bolton will be back soon. What’s he doing now?

    Allan

    5 Nov 11 at 2:56 pm

  26. Ive watched la liga on sky sports since the first day the coverage started and the sacking of Mark Bolton was a big mistake that will come back and bite the buffoons at sky on the arse. Bolton had a good knowledge of the game and something about him and the banter that was exchanged on the revista show was second to none. The revista show is now so dull i just dont watch it anymore. The problem is like every walk in life employers just dont like someone who has a view and is passionate in showing it you are deemed to be a troublemaker, what they want are YES men ive suffered the same in the past believe me! Scott minto what can you say he hasnt got a clue cant present and has the personality of a cup of tea and was never a footballer anyway but in Skys view he will give them no problems. Good luck to Mark Bolton hope he gets revenge on Sky and turns up on ESPN adios amigo

    Darren Black

    6 Nov 11 at 3:18 pm

  27. Shocking decision, Mark Bolton was fab. Minto painful to watch, bring back Bolton!!!! We love you!!!

    Ayshea

    6 Nov 11 at 9:10 pm

  28. total over reaction .
    the 5 star soccer that we see in la liga doesnt need a fancy dan presenter. it can speak for itself.
    a clear example of the icaris factor and a vain man coming undone by his ego . its now been several mths …surely if he was that good he’d have been snapped up , but just like keys and gray , he’s actually not all that ….and wont be missed. adios pal.

    duff

    11 Nov 11 at 8:54 pm

  29. Really looking forward to this seasons La Liga couple months back… saw that there was no Mark Bolton… turned it over… haven’t watched revista or live games since 🙁 real shame!!

    Ben

    12 Nov 11 at 11:02 am

  30. …who u kidding ben ?

    so when Real play Barca you and Mark the ego Bolton will be washing your hair that night ??!!!

    duff

    19 Nov 11 at 9:17 pm

  31. Nobody is invincible, some presenters are better than others. Mark wasbthe face of La Liga, the footy is great and Mark made the programme better.
    I will keep watching but will miss the knowledge Mark posessed, Scott Minto is, at the moment, simply the front man.
    Sky you made another mistake, no doubt Minto is cheaper.

    Duncan

    19 Nov 11 at 10:10 pm

  32. Mark Bolton is a big miss. There must be some big ego’s at sky who cant handle popular presenters with a personality. minto is a puppet and boring! Wish Sky had some competition so we could choose who we would watch, not sky that is for sure. A friend lost

    Matt

    19 Nov 11 at 10:14 pm

  33. Duff, he does have a large ego but was great front man for spanish football! Minto is a muppet puppet and out of his depth.

    Matt

    19 Nov 11 at 10:17 pm

  34. I’m originally from the midlands and Bolton used to present the regional football coverage for ITV Central. He had a female co-host and acted like a complete weirdo and pervert towards her. I’m not surprised that he was pushed out of sky, although I find spanish football a snore-fest and only saw him about twice on sky.

    cowboymagic

    25 Nov 11 at 1:19 am

  35. Have to agree with most of the comments. I find that Minto is very dull, knows little about Spanish football having played in Portugal, and has nowhere near the same passion or charisma that Mark Bolton had. I liked him, even though I guess he was a Real Madrid fan. Sky have lost too many great presenters especially Tim Lovejoy.

    Ross

    26 Nov 11 at 9:10 pm

  36. Minto is a sky puppet, he does not know his stuff lacks charisma and is very dull! Mark Bolton would have eaten him self if he was chocolate but knew his stuff, had some character and was a very good front man for spanish football!

    matt smith

    26 Nov 11 at 9:45 pm

  37. I am raging that Bolton has gone. I have watched all the programs since the start of the season and Minto is really out of his depth.

    Mark Bolton knew a hell of alot about La Liga having covered it for years, now we get Scott Minto, who hasn’t got a clue about Spanish football, never played there, can’t say the players names properly and just seems to be talking off an autocue all the time.

    The show is boring now with Minto there, Minto should go back to what he does best, cameo roles on SS and the football league games. The only reason I still watch Spanish football on Sky is because I love the league, always have, always will, best league in the world. Best La Liga review show in the world, ruined.

    Andrew Finn

    17 Dec 11 at 3:39 am

  38. Revista was one of the best football shows on tv. Now with minto doing la liga and revista it has gone down hill.

    minto has no talent, cannot blame him though, like most senior management, they pick weak, ineffective persons.

    all the best to MB. hopefully he will find another football show, and i will be tuning in.

    JD Max

    5 Feb 12 at 6:39 pm

  39. My husband and I were avid Revista watchers when Mark Bolton was on because we loved the banter. Once Scott Minto took over all this disappeared. We now never watch it. Can’t someone please get SKY to remove this muppet and bring back Mark.

    Karen Boddy

    21 Feb 12 at 8:42 pm

  40. such a shame, you get someone like mark, who is worth listerning to, and has great sense of hummour and wit, and they get rid of him, sorry show isnt the same

    denise shears

    3 May 12 at 3:50 pm

  41. … i see the mark bolton fan club is at it at again . laughable.

    he is a narcisist who belongs in a lynx advert . minto may be less showy . but thats the point . the stars are messi , ronaldo , llorente etc…and their feats always make the show such great viewing . scott is a decent presenter who keeps it simple and like a good referee , is almost invisible. bolton on the other hand ( like gray and keys ! ) thought he was bigger than the show. he needs to get past it ….

    duff

    4 May 12 at 6:34 am

  42. This is my uncle your calling bland

    Elliot Minto

    19 Aug 12 at 7:26 pm

  43. Credit to Minto, he’s certainly improved in the job, but does anyone know what Bolton’s up to now? His Twitter account doesn’t shed any obvious light.

    JasonR

    3 Feb 13 at 8:52 pm

  44. Just get Mark Bolton back. Get rid of Scott Minto. Or even get Jeff Stelling. Spanish Football has never been the same since.

    Andy Joyce

    31 May 13 at 12:02 am

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