Paul Merson reveals the real reason behind Matt Le Tissier’s sacking by Sky Sports back in 2020, when talking on Rob Moore’s YouTube channel.
Merse, who still remains an employee with the broadcaster, admits his former colleague was given “a couple of warnings” before he was let go.
The Southampton legend was a long-standing member of the Soccer Saturday panel, giving insight and reported on top flight fixtures.
However, following the Covid pandemic, Sky made a numbers of controversial changes as they looked to freshen up their line-up.
Le Tissier, along with the likes of Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas, were given their marching orders. It came after Le Tis was particularly outspoken regarding the outbreak of the pandemic – views that he posted on social media.
Merson concedes that certain opinions are better left unsaid, with his friend and colleague being warned previously.
He told Rob Moore’s YouTube channel : “We’re close, me and Matt. The thing I said to Matt, which is a compliment, but sometimes not: ‘sometimes it is not always clever to be clever’. If you have certain beliefs, you don’t have to share them.
“I’ve just done the radio now and a friend of mine, who is a top bloke, Trevor Sinclair, done something. He believes that but he probably shouldn’t have said it, know what I mean? Tis had a couple of warnings – so if you have a couple of warnings you pull it in. Sometimes it helps me not being bright.
“I love Tis, he’s one of the best English footballers there’s been. But I didn’t get involved in the Covid stuff, the conversations, etc. I’m not that bright, so I don’t say anything.”
Earlier this year, in another conversation with Moore, Le Tissier said his side of the story of his sacking, while also criticising Sky for keeping Jamie Carragher on, after the former Liverpool defender was filmed spitting towards another car in March 2018.
“I had about seven months left to run on my contract but I was told that I wouldn’t be needed anymore,” he said.
“They didn’t really give a particular reason, they just said ‘the show was going in a different direction’, they were the words I think they used. So I asked the question, ‘does this have anything to do with my posts on social media?’
“To which their reply was, ‘well we have to take into account the reputation of the company when making these decisions.’ At which point I said “oh that’s interesting, because at the moment, you are employing somebody who spat at a girl from his car.
“Jamie Carragher, who spat at a young girl through his car. They suspended him for six months and then brought him back into the fold.
“I said ‘do you not think that might have harmed the reputation of the company at all?’ and I got told ‘we can’t talk about other people on this’. So that was it really.”
Amid mounting pressure, Le Tissier also stood down from his ambassadorial role at Southampton in April, stating: “My views are my own and always have been, and it’s important to take this step today to avoid any confusion. This does not affect my relationship with and love for my club.”
Work with my mates, nothing better pic.twitter.com/byu6Z2XGl7
— Matt Le Tissier🌸 (@mattletiss7) September 13, 2022
As can be seen above, Matt Le Tissier recently reunited with Soccer Saturday friends two years after being sacked from the show… sharing a photo of him with Jeff Stelling, Paul Merson and Co.
Le Tissier captioned the Twitter post: “Work with my mates, nothing better.”
These days, majority of his content features Covid vaccine conspiracy theories, politics, chats with Nigel Farage and comments on the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
Last November, The Times reported that Le Tissier’s posts were being shared by Premier League footballers who were hesitant about getting vaccinated.
He doubled down on his controversial beliefs about the pandemic with claims ‘PCR tests were the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.’
In an interview with The Times, in relation to news images of intensive care patients struggling to breathe in Bergamo not long before Covid hit the UK, he said: ‘Some of those were actors, by the way.’
He has previously admitted that his controversial views at the height of the pandemic – which has caused almost 170,000 deaths in the UK – ‘probably ended up with me losing my job at Sky.’
In the same interview, he said that some of the photos of devastation in Ukrainian towns and cities during the conflict ‘have been falsified.’
However, he did later admit his tweet questioning the truth over the events in Bucha was ‘the wrong thing to do’.
Reflecting on his outspoken views, Le Tissier told The Times: ‘A couple of years ago I felt like something wasn’t right. People were interfering with my life who shouldn’t have been – mainly the Government and scientists.
‘I felt a real sense of injustice and when I feel a sense of injustice I can’t keep my mouth shut. I have to speak up.’
Former UKIP and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage spoke of his love for Crystal Palace during a conversation with Matt Le Tissier.
The outspoken and controversial politician was recently a guest on the Southampton legend’s online talkshow, confessing his love for the south Londoners, reminiscing about the early days of watching the Eagles when Malcolm Allison was in the dugout for Palace. And he even still follows Patrick Vieira’s side to this day.
“Of course I follow football,” Farage said to Le Tissier on Gettr. “My earliest memories of football are being taken, I suppose 1969 or 1970, to watch Crystal Palace play.
“Malcolm Allison, with the big fedoras, who’d come from Man City, was the manager. Don Rogers, the star player for Swindon, had come to Palace as centre forward, and my grandfather and grandmother used to go and watch Palace.
“My father and uncles used to go and watch Palace, my son is a season ticket holder at Palace, I follow Palace closely every week. Football is not my No.1 sport, but I follow it.
“I probably actually, in terms of listening to football, reading about football, I probably spend a few hours a week of football. So, football is part of my life, but cricket is a little bit bigger.”