Saturdays. The highlight of the week for most sport lovers. Listening to the build up on the radio on the way to the ground, following the scores at work or at home, and watching the high or lowlights on TV later that evening.

This weekend, for those - and there are still lots of them - who rely on the national broadcasting service for their sporting drama, they have been severely let down due to the disastrous handling of a crisis that should never have reached this point.

Read more: Gary Lineker row: BBC broadcasting affected for second day

Whether you agree or not with Gary Lineker's take on the Government's 'small boats' policy, he is allowed his own opinion. Freedom of speech should be championed and encouraged.

The question remains whether he breached BBC impartiality rules with his tweets last week. But the grey areas in the guidelines - especially surrounding those on freelance contracts like Lineker - and the inconsistencies that have been highlighted in recent days in the corporation's handling of similar incidents with other household names suggest the answer isn't clear cut.

But in their attempt to find it, the BBC has let down its audience. It should have foreseen its bungling response would have been criticised and bosses should never have allowed a situation to develop where sport coverage would be disrupted for 48 hours and counting.

Read more: Gary Lineker: Radio 5 Live among hours of BBC content pulled

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Embroiled by various controversies in recent months, including chairman, Richard Sharp, becoming involved in a cronyism row over helping Boris Johnson secure an £800,000 loan facility, the BBC's harshest critics have had a field day of late.

Even its staunch defenders are asking questions. For an organisation that likes to bill itself as a national treasure, it has been on the wrong side of public opinion more than it would like of late.

Read more: Rishi Sunak breaks silence on Gary Lineker and BBC row calling it 'a matter for them'

And ultimately, the messy fall out means rather than talking about what will become one of the most divisive policies of Rishi Sunak's premiership, attention is now solely on what one former England footballer thinks about it rather than voters, politicians and the rest of the world.

Surely that can't sit right with anyone.