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Is Tim White The Worst Football Commentator Ever?

tim-whiteTim White is a name that most of us were unfamiliar with before this week, but in the span of 24 hours we now know his name all too painfully well.

If you don’t know who Tim White is, he’s a football commentator. This week, he gave a woeful commentary for the UEFA feed of the Besiktas versus Manchester United match. One EPL Talk reader described him as “the worst commentator I have ever heard,” while another reader compared White’s commentary to that of a funeral.

Many of us, myself included, hoped that would be the last we heard of Tim White.

Unfortunately, a shock of horror swept across me Wednesday night when it was announced that the commentator for the game between Liverpool and Debrecen would be none other than Tim White.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, his voice sounded less flat during the first few seconds of his commentary. But as soon as the whistle blew to kick off the match, White put his foot in his mouth once again by saying that Liverpool were “English Premier League champions.” I had to rewind the match to make sure I wasn’t hearing things, and sat in disbelief that he actually did say those words.

One of the consistent criticisms of White’s commentary on Tuesday night was that he kept on talking about the scores of the other Champions League matches that were being played simultaneously. After listening to other commentators the last two days, it seems that most of them do the same thing so this may be a policy from UEFA and not a personal preference by the commentators.

However, White said another comment during the first half of the Liverpool match that left me gobsmacked. He said that Arsenal were losing 4-0 against Standard Liege by the 20th minute. Now I watched the Standard Liege against Arsenal game myself earlier Wednesday evening (and what an excellent comeback it was by the Gunners), but unless I was on a different planet, the final score was Standard Liege 2-3 Arsenal. Maybe his producers fed him the wrong scoreline or he misread some numbers? Whatever the case, it made White look like more of a incompetent football commentator than he already appeared.

We all make mistakes in our jobs (goodness knows I’ve made plenty myself), but these were two woeful commentaries in a span of 24 hours from the same individual. And honestly we expect more from UEFA and the Champions League than this. These games are supposed to be of the highest quality, which they are. But the commentating needs to strive to be world-class too. Unfortunately right now, it’s some of the worst football commentating I’ve ever heard.

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  1. rick richardson

    October 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Terrible commentator ,he and Jonathon Greening just don’t know when to STFU !!! They keep on Rabbiting non -stop ,so I just MUTE them both .

  2. Larry Kern

    September 24, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    I can’t believe this guy is worse than Tony Meola!!

  3. David

    September 24, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Breakings News: UEFA has just announced Tim White & Gus Johnson will now be the featured commentators for the world feed of Champions League matches.

  4. Azer

    September 23, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    David –
    As I posted an answer to your question on the other thread, the commentator’s name for the Europa League game, Chelsea FC vs PAOK this past Thursday is Guy Mowbray.

  5. David

    September 23, 2018 at 5:21 am

    I posted this elsewhere.
    Does anyone know the sole commentator’s name for the Chelsea/PAOK Europa Lge match? (Tim White, perhaps?) I missed the first three minutes on B/R and therefore the name of the person who bored us with his amateurish comments throughout the game. This was commentating at its worst (well, not quite Gus-bad). I usually criticise Arlo for his verbosity, but this guy was comatose at best, divorced from the action and he added nothing to the visuals. Really low quality.
    Reception, even on a VPN connection, was exceptionally good (albeit at a speed of 600Mbps). It’s just that there were extremely low, non-existent production values.
    Still, at $2.99 for the game, it was still a good deal.

  6. Tanna

    January 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Tim’s great

  7. Mark Fotheringham

    September 21, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Is there someone at UEFA we could email or contact to get them to intervene?

  8. Shashank

    September 19, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Using UEFA Official feeds are cheaper I presume? Than the SKY feeds? I missed Tyler-Gray comms. during the Besiktas game. Tim White is just plain hopeless, does he even know football? He seems to be always reading some book on the clubs info, history and how Liverpoo and prem. lge champions? wtf??? Do something UEFA.!!!

  9. jk

    September 19, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Many of the readers on here were begging FSC to use the international feed announcers and now many of you are getting your wish. Before I had cable (two seasons ago) I had a subscription. It gave me online access to every game for $4 a month (just couldn’t watch anything live, had to wait till 5) I listened to these announcers. There was always only one British announcer who rarely commentated on the game just talked about random football facts, they never got excited or showed a shred of emotion and gave away scores to game you were going to watch next. At least on ESPN you can put your hand in the way of the ticker. I really hope FSC starts using their own announcers. Even if there terrible because I watch many games from the same day. So I currently have to watch the game on mute or at a low enough volume that I can’t make out what they are saying.

    • The Gaffer

      September 19, 2009 at 10:02 am

      No one could have anticipated at the time that UEFA would have hired the worst cast of football commentators available, jk.

      The Gaffer

      • jk

        September 19, 2009 at 9:02 pm

        UEFA has been using these commentators for at least 3 years though on their website service.

  10. Mark Fothergill

    September 18, 2009 at 11:22 am

    UEFA should be ashamed of the output on the World Feed this week. From what I saw and heard, there wasnt ONE good commentary among them. Whites was terrible, but there were others equally bad, if not worse.

    Either UEFA pay Whites company a pittance, and all he can afford is these giys, or worse, UEFA pay him a lot, and hes pocketing as much as he can himself and spending as little as possible on the other commentators?

    Come on UEFA etc, just take the Sky commentary, at least then it sounds professional!!

  11. Cantona

    September 18, 2009 at 9:55 am

    agreed this guy was bad.. very bad.. that said i, could stomach him.. but i couldnt do it if it was Bretos… Its only matchday 1.. hopefully these kinks will get ironed out. Some of the feeds were not direct from UEFA.. some of them had a commentary team.. im assuming SkySports2 or 3 commentators being used. That said.. FOX should use the SKY feeds when its possible.. SKY uses the FOX NFL feeds… when they show games.. so I dont see why there should be a problem.. FOX has paid alot of money for the Champions League.. just a couple of more tweeks to get it right..


  12. 433

    September 18, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Tim White is even worse than some of the really, really poor American ESPN commentators (and Dellacamera is atrocious), because White will effectively lie about what happens on the pitch. It wasn’t until I read this post that I realized that the poor announcer for the Standard Liege-Arsenal match was the same guy who infuriated me so much in a previous season when he lied about Bacary Sagna conceding a penalty. The player had blatantly pulled Sagna down, and conned the referee, and watching the replays is was completely obvious, and Tim White kept going on about what an “ill-advised challenge” it was. There were several replays. It was obvious that the player had conned the referee. Anybody could tell it had been a successfully-worked piece of cheating. You could ask 100 people watching the replay, including the referee and the player himself, if he had conned the referee, and 99 would tell you he did, and the other one would be Tim White.

  13. TT

    September 18, 2009 at 6:31 am

    Any clips of White on YouTube etc? or is he censored?

  14. forweg

    September 18, 2009 at 1:49 am

    I agree with Hank, Tim White has to be the second worst. O’brien actually talked politics during an entire match of the World Cup.

  15. Hank

    September 18, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Tim White was terrible, but the worst ever? Please. Need I remind you of ESPN/ABC’s world cup coverage over the years? Dave O’brien?! Tim White isn’t even in the same league

    On a more positive note, I think FSC has done a good job on the studio commentary. Bobby McMahon was great, as always, and I thought he and Warren Barton made a good team.

    • The Gaffer

      September 18, 2009 at 7:19 am

      Hank, yes, Dave O’Brien was terrible. He was a joke and an embarrassment. So maybe Tim White isn’t the worse, but I would definitely say he is the worst English commentator I’ve ever heard.

      The Gaffer

  16. Jeff

    September 17, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    I would take Tommy Smyth or Max Bretos over this guy any day. I was hoping the only reason this guy was doing the commentary for the United game was because it wasn’t the live game but to hear he was doing the llive games is just disappointing. I was excited to hear how FSC was going to cover the Champions League this year but after watching it this week I’m very disappointed in the production of the matches. This better improved or they will have ruined one of the greatest competitions on the planet.

  17. Mark

    September 17, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Sounds like a case of be careful what you wish for. Come back Tommy Smyth. All is forgiven!

  18. JC

    September 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Oh my God, bad footy commentators? I just watched the Everton v. AEK Europa match on my DVR from this afternoon. Talk about terrible commentary. Those muppets were simply shocking. I couldn’t handle the second half i had fast forward through it. The name pronunciations were amazing they were calling Steven Pienaar “PIE nar”for the first 30 minutes
    and what they were doing with Fellaini and Distin was just a joke. And give the “Goooooooooool” bollocks a f’in rest please. I don’t mind Gol TV with Ray Hudson and his team but if the Europa league this season is going to be ruined by those two bozos from this afternoon I think i’ll be giving it a miss.
    Maybe they should get some tips from ESPN and FSC. For Gods sakes i’d prefer “old onion bags” to them!

    • The Gaffer

      September 17, 2009 at 8:35 pm

      JC, GolTV’s Julian Gonzalez and Lindsey Dean were mere gods compared to Tim White. Yes, every time Gonzalez mispronounced Stephen Pienaar’s name it grated me, but other than that they were fine, I thought.

      It’s not too often that you get to hear a “Gooooooooolllllll” cry after Everton score a goal.

      The Gaffer

  19. Taylor

    September 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    One thing not helping White was the sound mixing was terrible. You couldn’t hear the crowd or the atmosphere. And you really got the feel that he was stuck in a studio. Glad I wasn’t the only one who tuned into the DVR’d Arsenal game expecting to see a comeback from four goals down. But, the Arsenal announcer was just as bad. He kept thinking Standard Liege had one fewer goal than it actually had, leading to talk of Arsenal drawing level at the end of the second half and then going ahead after two goals.

    • Gaz

      September 18, 2009 at 10:00 am

      Yup. When Arsenal scored the first goal he indicated that they had just “gone level” (it was 2-1). And when they scored the third he indicated that they were up 1-3 (it was 2-3).

  20. Gaz

    September 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    This is great everyone noticed this too!

    So ‘effing annoying.

    Here’s the thing though: If he can just stop announcing scored from other matches, I can deal with all the crappy blunders.

    Announcing that Arsenal was losing 4-0 was bad enough as I was going to watch that game after the Liverpool match, but then later finding out that it wasn’t even a valid scoreline was the worst!

    Let him call Liverpool the “champions”, pronounce everything wrong, not understand rules, and generally make an ass of himself… but PLEASE don’t tell us scores!

  21. leeboy

    September 17, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Why not just take the UK match feed? It’ll be HD where possible, and I’m sure decent commentary is a price worth paying for the odd mention of Sky Sports, ESPN UK, ITV etc.

  22. Mutebutton

    September 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Worse than Max Bretos?

    I don’t think I’ve watched this recording, so we’ll see. But if this guy is worse than Max, he’s really accomplished an amazing professional feat.

    Unless they are using the announcers from Great Britain, I usually watch FSC on mute anyways. All of their voice-over announcers are horrible.

    • Oliver

      September 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      At least Max Bretos is enthusiastic about the match – especially the South American stuff

    • MarkB

      September 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      He’s about as bad as Bretos, but not nearly as annoying. He’s like the anti-Bretos; dull and lifeless as opposed to Bretos idiotic screaming.

  23. babaya

    September 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    100% agree. Worst. Ever.

    • Saskia

      September 22, 2018 at 11:52 am

      SHUT UP! I’m his daughter!!!!!

  24. J

    September 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    FSN Arizona had no stadium noise whatsoever during Besiktas-MU.
    Switched over to FS South West where it was fine.
    I guess Tim’s mob are cheaper than TWI – shame, especially with all the E’s that UEFA rake in.

    • Gaz

      September 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm

      I bet they heard all the pundits talking about the stadium being a mad-house and the supporters being super loud and got scared. They probably lowered the sound in anticipation of the crowd overpowering the commentators or on-pitch mics.

  25. Michael

    September 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    This guy is really, really bad. What made it worse, at least during ManU-Besiktas, is that the stadium sound was almost non-existent.

  26. Elliott

    September 17, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Ive seen quite a few podcasts, but seeing as several of us watch games on our computer, perhaps an epltalk live match commentary is urgently needed

    • The Gaffer

      September 17, 2009 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Elliott, we’ve tried that before with the infamous EPL Talk Chat but it didn’t work out as well as we imagined — mainly because more and more football supporters are timeshifting and watching games on delay rather than live.

      Thanks for the suggestion, though. I appreciate it and welcome any ideas.

      The Gaffer

  27. eric

    September 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    in his defence did accidentally put the Arsenal score as 4-0 at around the 20 min mark and it remained that way for a good 5 min. They blamed it on technical errors.

    • Jeremy

      September 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm

      Same thing happened in Tuesday’s Man U match on It showed Scholes scoring twice in the 77th to put Man U up 0-2.

  28. Rob Perry

    September 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm

  29. Brian

    September 17, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I watched all the Inter Barca game yesterday and didn’t hear a reference to the score of any other game.

    Also I watched parts of the the Arsenal game (not all of it – because the game had been ruined by TW) and didn’t hear reference to the scores of other games.

    The kindest thing I can say about this guy is that he vomits words.

    • The Gaffer

      September 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Brian, you may want to listen to it again if you get a chance. I’m 99% sure he referenced the scores from other matches including Olympiakos versus AZ Alkmaar.

      The Gaffer

      • PABLO

        September 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm

        He did reference the Alkmaar game. However he also mentioned Arsenal’s win against Middlesborough a few weeks earlier. What a moron. Only a few glasses of gin were able to assuage my bleeding ears.

        • The Gaffer

          September 17, 2009 at 3:34 pm

          I remember him mentioning Middlesbrough, too. i did a double take, but thought I misheard him. But you’re correct. He did mention that.

          The Gaffer

          • PABLO

            September 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm

            As well as his pronuciation of arshaVEEN.

  30. Rob Perry

    September 17, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Saw your comments about the UCL World Feed, so thought I’d drop you a quick (confidential) note – Tim White’s company in Leeds have been contracted by UEFA to provide World Feed commentary. In short, UEFA pay him to hire commentators to cover all the games each matchday. And the fee in turn being offered by Tim isn’t sufficient to attract a high grade of freelancer – hence no “familiar” names!

    I know several TV companies who have taken the World Feed as a cost-cutting measure have voiced criticism of the quality so far – notably the play-off round Sporting v Fiorentina game, where the commentator Andrew James didn’t understand the away goals rule, and declared “extra time to follow” – much to the embarrassment of broadcasters carrying the game live!!!!!

    • The Gaffer

      September 17, 2009 at 12:20 pm

      So it’s much worse than I even imagined. Not only do we have to make do with Tim White’s commentary, but now we know that the other blokes commentating the games have been hired by White — which isn’t exactly a comforting endorsement given White’s track record thus far.

      With all of the money that UEFA gets for TV rights, you would think that UEFA could spare a few extra bob to allow White’s agency to hire better talent.

      This does not bode well for the rest of the Champions League.

      The Gaffer

    • Zola612

      September 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm

      That is a truly shocking story about Andrew James not understanding the away goals rule. It seems reasonable to expect that even if the presenter is inexperienced or underpaid that they would at least “try” to look professional by familiarizing themselves with the rules of the competition.

      • Duke

        September 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

        Worst case, you may just want to watch and turn down the sound. I’ve taken to doing this during NFL games, which have such terrible commentary that they often make me want to shoot my television. A bigger conglomeration of brainless talking heads and meathead former athletes you will never find. And the vast majority of them don’t even know the rules, even with a staff of behind-the-scenes people feeding them information.

        Anyway, back to ranting about UCL: I ended up just turning the sound most of the way down. If I was unsure about what was happening, I would turn it back up briefly, not that that helped much. At least it kept me from getting too infuriated to watch the match.

        Also: This is NOT the best way to garner new audience in the U.S., just in case UEFA cares…

  31. Eric

    September 17, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Again, FSC does not deserve the Champions League.

  32. Duke

    September 17, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Does anyone remember the “Boom goes the dynamite” kid doing sports for a college TV station? He was quite the internet sensation a while back.

    I think that kid would be better than Tim White. At least he’d sound like something interesting was happening.

    • sucka99

      September 17, 2009 at 12:30 pm

      I still use his pronunciation of Andrew Bow-Got

    • Zola612

      September 17, 2009 at 12:48 pm

      That was who I was thinking of when I mentioned a “Communications Major” doing cable access but I couldn’t recall the catch phrase. Thanks for reminding me.

  33. Ocko

    September 17, 2009 at 10:51 am

    I can understand the 4-0 mistake; he’s getting the info fed to him from other sources. It’s his calling of the game that rubs me. What would have to happen for him to get excited? Aliens on the pitch? Jesus stripping down to come on for Liverpool? Even my girlfriend pointed out that his adds just about zero to the broadcast………no wit, no excitement, no background…terrible…just terrible….

    No….I won’t say it….NO I WON’T…YOU CAN’T MAKE ME….

    OK. This guy makes me crave the ‘old onion bag.’ He’s that bad. FINE. Happy now?

  34. SSReporters

    September 17, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I do agree Tom White is the worst football commentator of all time.

    His commentary on Everton vs. Werder Bremen was terrible yesterday and I only caught bits and pieces.

    He was even worse on Fenerbahce vs. Manchester City, who by the way were releagated last year.

    No more of Don White ever again on the CBS Soccer Network.

    • Saskia

      September 22, 2018 at 11:49 am

      I swear if you say ANYTHING like that again, then you won’t here the end of it …… I am his daughter

      • DiRT

        September 24, 2018 at 10:41 am


        And don’t make threats. Even 10 year olds should know better.

  35. Zola612

    September 17, 2009 at 10:28 am

    The answer to the article title question “Is Tim White The Worst Football Commentator Ever?” The answer is Yes! Mostly because he is covering the worlds premier club tournament. If he communications major covering a collegiate match for a local cable access station I’d look the other way but that was absurd.

  36. RedMD

    September 17, 2009 at 10:07 am

    This is part and parcel of the overall awful production values that FSC uses to produce its match coverage. SKY Sports should be used where possible, given their close corporate relation.

    • Tim

      September 17, 2009 at 1:21 pm

      Red, you can blame FSC for a lot of things, but not this. Fox buys its feed, just like ESPN did, from UEFA directly. All ESPN did differently was to have its own commentators watching the feed (from studio, as I recall, rather than at the match, except for finals) and calling the match. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe FSC should reconsider and let Miles and Costigan do the same.
      (Or they could do the best thing possible and lure Ray Hudson away from GolTV – no, wait, that’s what I want ESPN to do. The fact that the most unpredictable announcer in America – and his most predictable partner, Phil Schoen, who might in fact be what makes Hudson palatable – are not being heard by any more viewers than they are is a crime.)

  37. Gary

    September 17, 2009 at 9:37 am

    With regards to the 4-0 scoreline comment, I noticed that UEFA’s Match Centre had also the incorrect score for about 10 minutes. This wasn’t the first time either as they did the previous day in the Besiktas v Man Utd match, showing the score as 2-0 with Scholes scoring twice. If Tim was using the UEFA website for information, his mistake is a bit more understandable.

  38. V

    September 17, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Tim White is a horror show, no question. Why would UEFA thrust someone so inept, so clearly under qualified, into such a high profile role?

    More important of an issue for American viewers, however, is the policy of discussing results from other matches. We have two conflicting policies at work: UEFA commentators freely discuss goals/results on the air while FSC (in an admirable but futile attempt) tries to preserve the sanctity of the matches they’re showing later by not discussing/displaying any updates during the match or at the half.

    The result, unfortunately, means that FSC viewers can’t watch more than one match without knowing the result – truly a shame given their extensive coverage.

    I know that the upcoming interview with a Fox executive is meant to focus on the relaunch of their broadband service, but I’d be extremely interested in their response regarding this absolutely vital issue.

    P.S. As much as I dislike Tim White, he actually has the pronunciation of Berbatov correct, as a friend from Bulgaria once confirmed for me.

    • Saskia

      September 22, 2018 at 11:47 am

      I am 10 years old and he is my dad ! I am very disappointed in these horrible people in this world! Don’t say anything like that to my dad AGIAN!??

      • DiRT

        September 24, 2018 at 10:40 am

        Hopefully he’s found a new job he might actually be good at by now.

  39. JW

    September 17, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I especially enjoyed how he changed the pronunciation of “Ber-BAAAH-tov”.

  40. Stevie the K

    September 17, 2009 at 8:57 am

    why can’t we lure Toby Charles out of retirement?

    THAT would be a noteworthy and enjoyable event in and of itself

  41. Joel

    September 17, 2009 at 8:26 am

    I DVR’d both of the games he commentated on, and I couldn’t listen to either. I’m a die-hard Man Utd fan, but I just couldn’t stand it. It didn’t help that I had heard the score, either. I thought I was mistaken in hearing the “4-0” comment. I immediately started playing the Arsenal match on my TV. While I was pleasantly surprised by the 2-0 scoreline, it wasn’t the one I expected. I just thought I was hearing things.

  42. Peter

    September 17, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I only saw the Arsenal-SL game, which was a snoozer despite the scoreline, but what is with only having one announcer? Was this all FSC could afford? He had to resort to talking to himself, and I thought there were some questionable calls that could have been talking points…also, after those talking points, they showed one quick replay, barely allowing me to see what happened on close calls (SL penalty-looked like a clear dive, Arsenal second goal-Handball!)…bring the CL back to ESPN (except with no Tommy Smyth)

    • Joel

      September 17, 2009 at 8:27 am

      Peter, I believe those are the UEFA international commentators, not FSC’s. Most of the matches only had 1 commentator. The Barca v. Inter match had 2, though.

      • Peter

        September 17, 2009 at 1:58 pm

        I was referring to the one commentator provided during the Arsenal game, who also had the enthusiasm of an undertaker…I would think scoring the 3rd goal to come back from 2-0 would generate some excitement….nope…

  43. Christian

    September 17, 2009 at 8:07 am

    He’s awful. He called Besiktas, “Fenerbahce” at one point in the second half.

    • David Aaa

      September 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

      From the first broadcasts I thought they would be using Sky Sports commentaries. He also said Man City had beaten Man U twice last season!

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