In a surprising turn of events, yet another beloved Sky Sports presenter has announced their departure from the broadcaster. This news comes just two weeks after half of their football reporting team was let go as part of cost-cutting measures. The presenter, who hosted one of the network’s popular shows, had been with Sky Sports for over two decades.
Taking to Instagram to share the news, the well-known presenter wrote, “Sky sky for now. After 21 and a half years, today I leave. Massive thanks to the company and all the opportunities it’s given me. It’s been class. BIG Love to everyone. Tubes.” Peter ‘Tubes’ Dale, who was a long-running host of Soccer AM, bid farewell to the show after nearly 30 years on air. This cancellation was just one of many changes happening within the organization.
Upon hearing the announcement, several famous names, including Frank Lampard, James Maddison, Jamie Redknapp, and John Terry, expressed their well wishes to the presenter. Lampard wrote, “You’ve been more than amazing there. Talented and a great lad. Always a pleasure to work with. Wishing you all the best mate.” Redknapp added, “One of my favorite and most talented people I have worked with. Super funny and cool and never taken himself seriously. Can’t wait to smash you at golf again soon. You will be a huge success whatever you do.”
As reported by Mail Sport in June, Sky Sports made the decision to cut six out of their 13 football reporters after a consultation on redundancies. While some chose to leave and others may be offered alternative roles, experienced journalists such as Guy Havord, Dickie Davis, Bianca Westwood, Greg Whelan, Lynsey Hooper, and Jaydee Dyer will not be continuing in their current positions. Additionally, veteran interviewer Geoff Shreeves has been asked to take a significant pay cut if he wishes to stay with the broadcaster.
Soccer AM’s final episode aired in May, with Tubes, John ‘Fenners’ Fendley, and Jimmy Bullard joined by big names like Stormzy, Jack Whitehall, and Ilkay Gundogan. Fendley also bid farewell to Sky Sports on social media, saying, “Some of the crowd are on the pitch, they think it’s all over. It is now. Full time for me. Thanks to (Sky Sports) for some amazing memories. Looking forward to the future and whatever might come my way. See you all very soon.”
In response to the cancellation of Soccer AM, Sky released a statement stating that they were adjusting their programming to meet the evolving needs of viewers. A spokesperson for the broadcaster said, “Soccer AM has played an important role in our coverage of football for the past three decades, and we continually adapt to the evolving needs of our customers. We now go into a period of consultation to discuss the proposed changes with our people. We are unable to provide more detail while these consultations are underway.”
Other high-profile departures from Sky Sports’ football coverage include commentator Martin Tyler, who will be replaced by Peter Dury from the next season, and Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling, who announced his intention to leave the flagship show in April. It seems that these changes are part of a larger restructuring within the organization.