Clive Tyldesley has reacted with dismay to being dropped by ITV as their lead commentator.
Tyldesley is being replaced as ITV’s lead commentator after 22 years in the position, it was announced on Tuesday.
Tyledsley, who joined from the BBC in 1996, will be replaced by Sam Matterface at the start of next season, but will continue to work with the station.
Director of ITV Sport Nial Sloane said: “On behalf of ITV Sport, I would like to thank Clive for his superb work leading our commentary on some of the biggest occasions in world football throughout his outstanding career with us.
“We are very glad he will continue with us and look forward to working with him on many more occasions in the future.”
The 65-year-old appeared dumbfounded in a video explaining the situation, and confirmed he had been “moved aside”, while he admitted he may as well been “sacked” as ITV’s main man.
Tyledsley said numerous outlets had been in touch with him asking for a reaction and he said: “I’m not sure that would be a very good idea at the moment.
“I was told about three weeks ago, so I have had time to get my head around it the decision, but I haven’t got my head around it.
‘I’ve done nothing wrong’
“To be clear this is ITV’s decision not mine and I’m upset, annoyed and baffled. I would have been interested in commentating the Euro 2020 final less than four hours ago, but now I will not be commentating on any of the big England games in the coming year.
“And I’m going to miss them I love this job and it’s gone. Why? I don’t know. I do not know why this decision has been taken.
“One or two sites are reporting that I have been sacked, well I guess I have from one job, but I’ve done nothing wrong.”
ITV have replaced me as their main football commentator… pic.twitter.com/S8UOjvwEck
— Clive Tyldesley (@CliveTyldesley) July 14, 2020
Tyledsley switched channels in 1996 as he joined to be Brian Moore’s understudy, but got the main job after the 1998 World Cup.
He has narrated some of the most memorable moments of the last 25 years, including ‘that night in Barcelona’ when Manchester United won the Champions League and England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
Matterface, who is already part of ITV’s commentary stable, will step up to the main position, also keeping his role as radio station talkSPORT’s chief commentator.