Why Clive Tyldesley is leaving ITV as legendary commentator responds to shock decision

Clive Tyldesley speaks to the Daily Mirror
-Credit: (Image: Daily Mirror)

Veteran voice of football Clive Tyldesley has opened up about his unexpected departure from ITV after an illustrious 28 years behind the mic, confessing to his confusion over the network's 'unusual' call.

Tyldesley, aged 69, is set to commentate for one final match this Saturday, calling the action as Germany face Denmark in their Euro 2024 round-of-16 encounter in Dortmund. He will be accompanied by familiar voice Ally McCoist, the former Scotland striker, with their commentary earning acclaim during past international competitions.

Having been moved on from his position as ITV's main football commentator in 2020, losing out on covering prime events like England's big matches and finals of the European Championship and World Cup to Sam Matterface, Tyldesley admitted to feeling 'upset, annoyed and baffled' at the time. Now, as he faces the end of his tenure with ITV, he insists that walking away from commentating is not in his plans.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Tyldesley shared details of how he was told his time at ITV would be coming to an end: "I've known for five to six weeks," he began. "The ITV football editor phoned me to tell me I would be going home after the last 16. I asked if there would be any other opportunities and he said that ITV would not be offering me another contract and so that will be it after 28 years."

While facing the end of an era, Tyldesley remains appreciative of his time at ITV and maintains there is no bitterness towards the network. "ITV has been very good for me and my career and I'd like to think I have been good for them," he added, reports the Mirror.

"It's a shame it's coming to an end but it's a matter of opinion and their opinion is that this is the right call. I don't know why they think that. I've never fully understood but I have to accept it. I still think my work is strong enough to resonate with old and young."

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Tyldesley added: "It's a strange situation because I am not retiring and have no intention of doing so. This is not my decision - it's theirs. If they want to highlight the fact that I have been with them a long time that's also their decision. I not going to object to it but at same time it's a little unusual when it's their decision to move me on."

Tyldesley's wife Susan confirmed his impending exit on Thursday, writing on X, formerly Twitter: "My husband @CliveTyldesley commentates on his last match for @itvfootball Saturday after an incredible 28 years with @itvfootball. "I am so proud of him. Clive will still have a voice on his new @globalplayer podcast The Football Authorities."

When club football returns, Tyldesley will continue his commentary on Champions League matches for United States-based broadcaster CBS Sports and will remain a key voice during Amazon's coverage of the Christmas Premier League clashes.

Hailing from Lancashire, Tyldesley took over from commentating legend Brian Moore on ITV in 1998. A broadcaster ever open to new ventures, Tyldesley has recently stepped into the podcasting arena with 'The Football Authorities', which he co-hosts alongside former Celtic and Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill.