Matt's Crow Country: Ryan Giggs winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year devalues the competition

PUBLISHED: 09:09 15 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 11 May 2010

THE BBC Sports Personality of the Year show used to be one of my television highlights of the year, but I m surely not alone in thinking it s gone downhill recently. Firstly there is the insistence that everyone involved refers to it as SPOTY – an unappea

THE BBC Sports Personality of the Year show used to be one of my television highlights of the year, but I'm surely not alone in thinking it's gone downhill recently.

Firstly there is the insistence that everyone involved refers to it as SPOTY - an unappealing and completely pointless acronym which conjures up images of Dalmatians or acne-ridden teenagers.

It is also hampered by the lack of broadcasting rights possessed by the BBC, meaning what was once a comprehensive review of the years sporting action is now severely limited.

But most of all, what irks me is their choice of candidates for the main award. On Sunday it was announced that Ryan Giggs was the 2009 winner, with the Manchester United skipper seeing off competition from Formula One driver Jensen Button and heptathlete Jessica Ennis.

I don't particularly have anything against Giggs, who is by all accounts a model professional and has been at the top of his profession for the best part of 20 years.

But what exactly has he done in 2009 to merit this award? Sure, he's been part of a title-winning football team, but this is hardly a rare achievement, especially when compared to the likes of Button or Ennis, who in the last 12 months have become world champions in their respective sports.

Then there are the people who didn't even make the shortlist, such as local cricketer Charlotte Edwards, who led the England team to victory in both the World Cup and the women's version of the Ashes in 2009. Again, a career-defining double triumph which barely got a mention on the night.

I can see why they would want to honour Giggs, but he should surely have been in the life-time achievement category, in recognition of his long and glittering career.

Putting him up for the main award totally devalued the competition, and left me wishing I'd tuned into the X Factor final instead.

Anyone thinking about picking up a few last-minute Christmas gifts this Friday will be pleased to note that parking in Royston will be free all day.

I trust all those people who complain about parking charges in the town centre being a restrictor on trade will be hitting the streets to take advantage of this offer.

After all, this is an excellent opportunity to show support for our unfairly maligned town centre.

There are plenty of bargains on offer in Royston, and I look forward to seeing a packed High Street when I come in to work on Friday.

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