BBC Radio Five Live has had a complaint from Liverpool City Council – over comments made by football commentator Alan Green during Sunday's match between Everton and Reading. He told listeners Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone, a special guest at the game, would probably find his limousine had no wheels when he returned to it.
The leader of Liverpool council, Warren Bradley, has written to the station's controller Bob Shennan about the derogatory joke.
Cllr Bradley said he had received complaints from people in the city. He told the Liverpool Daily Post: "It is immensely disappointing that a respected football commentator should display such ignorance about a city which he visits regularly.
"Alan Green's cheap remark perpetuates outdated myths and damages the city's reputation nationally. Perhaps an apology would be in order and Five Live would consider doing something to give a more balanced account of how the city has changed for the better in the last few years?"
A Radio Five Live spokesman apologised, saying: "Alan's comments were off the cuff and meant to be humorous. They weren't funny and we're sorry if they caused offence."
Everton FC were planning to launch an official complaint to the BBC as well, but have now changed their mind following Five Live's apology.
A club spokesman said: "Whilst we acknowledge that Alan Green is one of radio journalism's more self opinionated figures, we do feel that his comments were hugely ill-advised and, quite clearly, offensive to many people. In the 24 hour period which followed our game against Reading, we received e-mails and phone calls from football supporters everywhere, who were appalled at his ludicrous statements.
“We accept the BBC’s apology in the spirit it was made and the matter is now closed.”
[link=http://www.radiotoday.co.uk]The latest from RadioToday.co.uk[/link] Story? [email protected] or call 0871 315 6 315