Another much loved member of Sky Sports is said to be fearing the sack after the majority of his best pals were axed in the summer.
Reporter Chris Kamara has admitted he is concerned he could be got rid of by Sky Sports, after waving goodbye to Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas who lost their job in August 2020.
We have seen the likes of Adebayo Akinfenwa, Gabby Agbonlahor, Tony Pulis, Lee Hendrie, Clinton Morrsion, Robbie Fowler and Joleon Lescott all introduced. You can see a list of additions HERE.
The only bunch of the Soccer Saturday family to survive is Jeff Stelling and Paul Merson with a new team coming in and proving unpopular with viewers.
Speaking to The Sun, Kamara said: “I could have gone in the last one. Me and Jeff, we’re not expendable, so we feel our time will come. We are getting old as well.
“These are young bloods coming through.
“And there are people who think we were great a few years ago but probably think we’ve done our time now and let’s bring in the youngsters.
“But if it all ended tomorrow at Sky, I can honestly say that they have been fantastic to me.
“To be with a company for 22 years, you don’t get a manager’s job for 22 years unless you’re Sir Alex [Ferguson] or Arsene Wenger.”
Looking back on the exits of Le Tissier, Thompson and Nicholas, Kamara added that it took him by surprise, saying: “I was absolutely devastated.
“You just think, ‘Crikey’. Being honest, when I started working at Sky I could never see the end of Rodney Marsh, George Best, God bless his soul, Frank McLintock, Alan Moore, Clive Allen.
“They had such good banter and you thought they were going to be there forever.
“Then Sky made the change to bring in Charlie, Thomo, Le Tiss, so that acceptance that it had to be them this time around took me by surprise.
“But I’d seen it before. I’m just fortunate I wasn’t on the end of it as well. The boys accepted it. We were hoping to all go out together this Christmas. But that’s not going to happen now because of Covid. We’ll get it sorted next year.
“They’re great people, they’ve been fantastic to work with all the time. We certainly had a lot of banter together and a lot of camaraderie.”
In the meantime, the only time we are seeing Phil Thompson along with his other sacked colleagues is on the Paddy Power adverts.
Talking on being dismissed, Phil Thompson, who still had a year left on his contract, revealed that Sky Sports had actually brought up the subject axing him off the show 18 months before his official exit was confirmed.
He said: “It became a way of life so taking that away… I miss it. Yes, I miss it.
“We were a band of brothers. But you do know that change has to happen.
“They wanted to do it sensitively rather than one day you’re gone.
“They said until we find somebody who is better, it might continue.
“It was three parts of a midfield.
“The others could have continued.
“I do think we bridged all the gaps because people grew up with us.
“We did it for 16 years. Even though people didn’t remember us as players, they knew us as Soccer Saturday. So it was part of their life.
“It even became a cult thing. There was a Jeff Stelling university drinking game! (A shot of spirit every time Stelling said ‘doom and gloom’ and another when Chris Kamara screamed: ‘Unbelievable, Jeff’). The whole thing was a testimony to Jeff, who was the leader of the band and for me, the best TV sports presenter.
“It took on its own life. I think people could relate to us. I’m not saying everybody loved every one of us. You only had to go on social media to see that. But we knew what we were and that was the biggest thing. We didn’t want to be like Super Sunday, where they would analyse things to death.
“That was the great thing about Sky. They mixed things up. They created new programmes. They pushed the boundaries.”
You can tell Jeff Stelling is missing his mates too and he even admitted that he was considering quitting the weekly show altogether when he discovered the news.
Stelling tweeted: “One of my saddest days ever at Sky Sports with the departure of three of my best mates.
“They have been part of a team that for me was the best.”
Stelling took to Twitter to confirm he will be giving his future a long, hard thought.
Stelling also said on his future with Sky: “Thanks for all the messages of support – and even for most of those who have a different view, as I believe in free speech.
“So far no discussions have taken place, no decisions made.
“Only I know what I am thinking but it is important to listen to all arguments.”
Fans reacted after seeing another much loved member in Chris Kamara of Sky Sports fearing the sack…
@Pete_Byrne1: Soccer Saturday is now unwatchable… it’s a charisma free zone.
@doris_from: Call me cynical, but I reckon Chris would have been some way from the top of that list.
@Haigh12K: I wonder why he wasn’t sacked like the other three?
@banksy68076655: Being black you have nothing to worry about Chris. It was only white people given the boot.
@Jordancmay46: Let’s just say ”he fits the bill” his job was always safe
@boris_macy: Can’t break up the Kammy-Stelling partnership! That would be a step too far!
@birdmanWl: Shouldn’t even be about colour, @chris_kammy is quality, top pundit. But in this pc world he’d probably be safer if he identified himself as a non binary nobody.
@inghamjj55: If Kammy goes, we riot @chris_kammy same goes for Jeff