The Sun Defend Front Page Splash Mocking New England Manager Roy Hodgson

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ROY HODGSON
The Sun were criticised in several quarters for their front page splash | StephenHull

A tabloid newspaper that came under fire for publishing a front page headline playing on new England manager Roy Hodgson's manner of speech has accused its critics of "a sense of humour failure".

The Sun said media critics and the Football Association (FA) had over reacted to yesterday's cover story, which was emblazoned with the words: "Bwing on the Euwos! (we'll see you in Ukwaine against Fwance)."

In a show of defiance editorial chiefs decided to lead today's edition with a story emphasising that the controversial headline - which picked up on Hodgson's difficulties in pronouncing the letter R - was intended as a joke.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned red top enlisted the help of chat show host Jonathan Ross, who has a similar pronunciation problem to Hodgson, to argue that yesterday's front page "should be taken in the fun spirit intended".

In today's front page story carrying the headline: "Wossy: Roy Row is Ruddy Ridiculous", The Sun quotes the television star as saying: "I don't think there's anything wrong with it, and I'm sure Roy is big enough to take care of himself.

"The world is bankrupt and we're worrying about The Sun doing what they do...who really cares? Everyone knows The Sun has a cheeky sense of humour."

Despite Ross's comments, yesterday's story on the appointment of the new Three Lions boss sparked more than a hundred complaints to the press watchdog.

The FA said it had also received a "large number of objections" to the Sun's coverage.

FA chairman David Bernstein said yesterday: "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."

The FA said it would not be making an official complaint to the PCC but it had raised the issue with the newspaper and "made it clear" the organisation found the front page unacceptable.

Hodgson, 64, signed a four-year deal when he accepted the role, taking him to the end of Euro 2016.

He later admitted he would have to be on another planet to be oblivious to the fact he is not the people's choice.

Following Fabio Capello's resignation on February 8, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had been the overwhelming favourite for the role.

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