Legendary commentator Clive Tyldesley revealed his despondency in an emotional video after being replaced in his lead role at ITV after 22 years of work.
Tyldesley’s voice has served as the backdrop for historic matches spanning more than two decades at major international tournaments and biggest club football games, including 17 Champions League finals.
ITV has announced that the 65-year-old will be replaced by 42-year-old Sam Matterface at the start of the new season and Tyldesley seemed devastated by the decision as he posted a video reacting to the announcement.
Clive Tyldesley is replaced as ITV lead commentator after 22 years
Sam Matterface to take over as main football commentator for ITV next season
He said: “If you haven’t seen the ad, I’m replaced as ITV’s main football commentator. Many people have been in contact with me, asking me to react, to comment, uh, I’m not sure it would be a very good idea at the moment.
“I was told about three weeks ago, so I had time to think about the decision, but I didn’t understand. To be clear, this is ITV’s decision, not mine. I am upset, bored, bewildered… I would have been interested in commenting on the Euro 2020 final for them less than 48 hours ago, but now I will not comment on any of England’s major games during the coming year and I’m going to miss them, I love this job and let’s go. Why? I do not know. I don’t know exactly why this decision was made, I already have the producer of a show I’m working on to find out if I have health problems. No! I have no health problems.
“Ask me if it’s something I did … no, it’s nothing.” I guess one or two sites are reporting that I have been sacked. Well, I guess I have a job but I haven’t done anything wrong.
“I’m the same broadcaster, the same person I have always been, like me or I hate myself, and you have the right to do either. You know, like everyone in football, I am a matter of opinion, I understand perfectly and I fully respect the right of ITV to change its opinion on me.
“ITV has been really good for me and yes, I will continue as commentator # 2, but let me be clear, I did not resign, I was moved. Discarded. I never even thought about retiring or anything like that.
“Now listen, there are thousands of people in this country facing job losses and disappointments far more serious than that, I am a lucky boy. I love my job and I have a lot of it, so I don’t make a statement or anything like that, it’s not a serious matter of condition, I’m just trying to explain, I’m just telling you that I’m really really disappointed about it, I don’t know why I’m being replaced, I’m good, capable and available and I’m going to miss the England games so much, even more than the Champions League games and that’s it . ‘
Tyldesley has broadcast some of the greatest football games of the past 22 years
Tyldesley spoke to the biggest British audience of all time in a single match when England lost to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-final in front of 24.3 million viewers.
He also captured the moment when Manchester United won the European Cup against Bayern Munich in a dramatic way: ‘Beckham …… Into Sheringham… .. and Solskjaer won it! Manchester United have reached the Promised Land, Ole Solskjaer, and the two substitutes have scored both goals in stoppage time and the highs are important!
A number of disappointed fans reacted to the news on social media.
One wrote: “ITV replacing Clive Tyldesley is a terrible decision. A fantastic commentator who will be greatly missed. “
Another added, “I hope he is caught by someone,” while the third posted, “Hi Clive, I read the statement released by ITV this morning. Yours was the voice of my sporting youth, the Champions League on Earth was there. “And Solskjaer won it!” »Great memories.
Tyldesley commented on England’s defeat in the World Cup semi-final against Croatia in 2018
Tyldesley will continue to be part of the ITV team and will always be part of the commenting group during major tournaments.
ITV seems to follow the example of the BBC by eliminating the most beloved talents.
John Inverdale, Henry Blofeld and Ian Robertson were sidelined, while Cornelius Lysaght and Mark Pougatch were informed that they had no future at Radio 5 Live.
Tyldesley’s replacement Matterface will continue to play the role of talkSPORT lead football commentator alongside his new position.
He has extensive experience of himself having held positions with the BBC and Sky Sports both as a presenter and commentator.
The commentary on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Champions League winning goal is emblematic
Matterface has been a regular voice for ITV commentators, working on the cover of several major tournaments, including the World Cup in Russia.
Niall Sloane, Director of ITV Sport, said: “On behalf of ITV Sport, I would like to thank Clive for her superb work leading our commentary on some of the greatest opportunities in world football throughout her exceptional career with us.
“We are very pleased that he continues with us and look forward to working with him on numerous occasions in the future. “
Tyldesley, a fan favorite over the years, will work on the delayed European championship next year, but not in the lead role.
He was once again loved by supporters during the lockdown, entertaining them with comments on clips of kids playing soccer and even his wife making lasagna.
Veteran broadcaster jokingly commented that his wife made lasagna during the lockout