Eagle-eyed viewers quickly spotted the surprise insult for the club at 9.35 as it appeared between various headlines on the sports bulletin.
More than two hours later, the channel’s news anchor was forced to explain that the message was displayed in error during a training exercise.
Manchester United are rubbish
“A little earlier, some of you may have noticed something pretty unusual on the ticker that runs along the bottom of the screen with news, making a comment about Manchester United,” the host said. “I hope that Manchester United fans weren’t offended by it.” In an explanation for the “mistake”, she added: “Behind the scenes, someone was training to learn how to use the ticker and to put text on the ticker.
“So they were just writing random things, not in earnest. That comment appeared, so apologies if you saw that and you were offended and you’re a fan of Manchester United, but certainly that was a mistake. It wasn’t meant to appear on the screen so that was what happened. We just thought we’d better explain that to you.”
It is not the first time the broadcaster has suffered inadvertent run-ins with the Old Trafford club. Sir Alex Ferguson refused to give post-match interviews to the BBC for seven years until 2011 after a BBC documentary made allegations against his son, Jason. On Monday, the club’s latest manager, Erik ten Hag, vowed to bring “rules, principles and structures” in a bid to overhaul his struggling players.
United failed to even qualify for the Champions League after slumping to sixth place and finished the season with a dismal 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace with Ten Hag in the stands to see his side for the first time.