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Richard Keys claims Graeme Souness was sacked by Sky Sports after ‘clumsy’ comments made

Richard Keys claims Graeme Souness was sacked by broadcaster Sky Sports after ‘clumsy’ comments were made by the departing pundit.

Last August, England’s Lionesses slammed Souness for referring to football as “a man’s game” on live television after Chelsea and Tottenham drew at 2-2.

He has recently said his farewell in his last Sky appearance at the end April, after receiving a round applause from the studio.

Sky Sports confirmed they had agreed to part ways with Souness as a pundit at the end of his 15-year contract with the channel.

Sky Sports has posted a video on Twitter thanking Souness for his years as a sports pundit.

And now via his blog, Richard Keys, claims to have talked to an “insider” and alleges that the broadcaster decided to fire Souness after his comments made following the Chelsea vs Spurs game.

Souness, in a piece for the Daily Mail, said that he is “open for business”.

Souness said originally on Sky in August last year: “It is a man’s sport all of a suddenly again.

“Men fighting, blow for blow and the referee just letting them go.”

Souness, who announced his retirement from Sky’s punditry last month, said: “I’m gonna miss you guys. The guys behind the scene, our makeup artist, I’ll be missing you all.”

“I’ve decided that I don’t want to be involved in football management anymore.” I was not the right person for the job.

“Then I got the chance to do it and it was fantastic.” It’s been a fantastic time, because I am passionate about football, and I am worried about its future.

“But Sky’s, it’s safe and in good hands. I think that over the years, we have created a Premier League in great detail, and we take care of football very well.”

Gary Hughes, Sky Sports football director, added: “We will miss Graeme’s no-nonsense attitude in the studio – only matched by his playing style.”

Keys left Sky Sports in 2011 after making disparaging remarks about women.

He was caught on video asking Jamie Redknapp, a pundit, if he slept with his ex and asked him “Did You Smash It?”.

Keys has now said:Graeme Souness’s ‘retirement’ from Sky didn’t feel right to me – especially when I read his Daily Mail column suggesting he was still ‘open for business’.

“A conversation relayed to me from a Sky ‘insider’ this week tells me I was right – he was sacked. Well – it was decided his race was run. Same thing really.

“I have to say immediately that I wouldn’t trust the individual who reported the info as far as I could throw him – but he’s made a career of man-marking senior management figures in order to protect himself so this time I believe him. His sources will be good.

“It turns out it was decided to dispense with Graeme’s services the moment he referred to football being a ‘man’s game’. Remember? He used that phrase after Chelsea’s 2-2 draw v Spurs in August.

“His comments caused a bit of a stir. He was clumsy in his phraseology. He didn’t mean harm, but you can’t say that anymore. Football is simply a game – enjoyed by everyone. And we should celebrate that.

“I think most people felt that Graeme had been clumsy and he’s a much loved character, so they were happy to give him the benefit of the doubt – but senior management at Sky certainly weren’t. They decided that was it. He’d be out at the first opportunity.

“Two things will happen now. Sky will deny this and the mole will be making frantic calls trying to cover his tracks – but I will be proved right because Graeme is by no means finished. He will turn up somewhere – ITV perhaps – because he’s a classy operator and remains box office.

“Having revealed the truth now if I was Martin Tyler I’d be looking over my shoulder after what were described as his ‘racist comments’ about Son Heung-min recently. Again – I’d say Martin was simply clumsy, but you can be sure the incident is on file somewhere at Gillette Corner. And I think I know who the Guardian of that file will be – the same person that did for Graeme.”

Souness recently commented on a recent controversy in which he was briefly cancelled on social media after using the term ‘man’s game’ during punditry alongside Karen Carney.

“I’m not worried in the slightest about being cancelled. First of all, both teams had been really good, the referees have changed somewhat since then in terms of letting the game flow. And those two games the referee let some challenges go on, and it was men challenging men, and I was talking about the two games of football. I had nothing to apologise for.

“I’m not going to be too concerned if someone takes exception and cancels me because I’ve used a term that I’ve used for the last 50 years of my adult life, in a football sense.

“Let me tell you what I am, I am privileged, I started at 15 and finished my career at the age of 33-34, I played my last game at 35. I played with great players at Liverpool at 32-33, when they finished that was it for them. I rolled into management, and then punditry, so it means from the age of 15-70 I’ve been employed by ‘football’ type people, I’m not going to change now am I.”

You can watch the full episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-ulRsiYgqQ.

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