The editors of England boss Roy Hodgson’s hometown papers have joined a growing backlash against The Sun’s coverage of his appointment.
The red-top greeted the news of the West Brom manager’s surprise elevation with a “cruel” front page yesterday mocking his inability to pronounce his Rs.
But it sparked an immediate backlash from football fans and fellow journalists alike with several regional editors among those voicing criticisms.
Now the Press Complaints Commission is to investigate after receiving more than 100 complaints.
News chiefs at Croydon-born Hodgson’s two hometown weeklies were among those who hit out at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid.
Croydon Advertiser editor Editor Glenn Ebrey said: “We rather tire of Kate Moss being dubbed Croydon’s most famous export so it is wonderful to see a great man like Roy Hodgson doing our town proud.
“No paper reflects the public mood more accurately than The Sun but I think they’ve judged this one poorly. No wonder so many people see the England manager’s job as a poisoned chalice.”
Meanwhile Matthew Knowles, assistant editor of the rival Croydon Guardian, made his own views known in a strongly-worded post on Twitter.
In a blog post he compared the move to its notorious ‘Bonkers Bruno’ headline about former boxing champion Frank Bruno in 2003.
“Say what you like about The Sun but, more often than not, it gets it spot on in terms of its target market. But when it gets it wrong it gets it badly wrong,” he wrote.
“This morning’s Sun front page, ridiculing Roy Hodgson’s speech impediment, is another misjudgement. It’s not funny, it’s not clever and it’s not right.”
The Football Association said it had raised the matter with the newspaper although it is not making a formal complaint.
Chairman David Bernstein said: “We are delighted at the media response to Roy’s appointment but are disappointed with the headline in The Sun, which we consider is in poor taste and disrespectful.”
Even one of The Sun’s former editors, David Yelland, joined in the chorus of disapproval.
He wrote on Twitter: “So little compassion for Roy Hodgson today, bullying language, pointlessly cruel, pointlessly hurtful.”