Clive Tyldesley opens up on new Euro 2020 role after 'upsetting' ITV demotion

Clive Tyldesley admits he is preparing for a “strange” European Championship after his demotion from the role of ITV’s number one commentator.

Tyldesley, 66, was replaced as the broadcaster’s principal figure in the commentary box by Sam Matterface in July last year.

He took to social media following the announcement to declare he was “upset, annoyed and baffled” by the decision, which means he will not cover England’s games at Euro 2020.

In a fresh interview, Tyldesley claims he considered “storming out” of his meeting with ITV bosses after he was told he was being stood down from the role so many fans associate him with.

Tyldesley is the voice of football for many fans up and down the country
Tyldesley is the voice of football for many fans up and down the country

But he had a change of heart as he realised he would still be able to cover top-tier matches at the summer tournament, which was postponed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I could have stormed out, but I thought, no I quite fancy commentating on France versus Italy,” Tyldesley told the Daily Telegraph .

“No more England, so it will be a slightly strange thing.

“Once the decision has been taken you have to absorb it, realise it’s not the end of the world. It’s nice if you’re missed a little bit.”

Tyldesley also opened up on his replacement, Matterface, insisting he holds no grudge against the 43-year-old who has supplanted him.

But he also hit out at what he sees as a general trend of replacing experienced commentators just for the sake of it.

Tyldesley added: “I don’t think ITV replaced me with a younger man for the sake of that, I think they replaced me with a different kind of commentator.

“And even though I was shocked by the decision and didn’t agree with it, I can accept it, because Sam commentates in a different way.

“But when I hear that somebody as capable as Mark Pougatch has been replaced on the BBC by somebody who has got a younger voice, but broadcasts in the same way, only not as well, I can’t fathom that out at all.

Do you agree with the decision to replace Tyldesley? Comment below.

“The fact is the population’s growing older. My mum still counts as a viewer. She needs to be included in the conversation.

“As do my children, who are all in their twenties. And the best way to do that is to have a broadcaster with an experience.”

Matterface, meanwhile, has been diplomatic throughout the transition and heaped praise on Tyldesley last October.

“Clive is a brilliant commentator,” he told the Mail on Sunday . “He is a commentator who is editorially fantastic. He knows how to hit the mark and how to deliver a line.

“I think it’s right that people had the opportunity to pay tribute to him and to say how great he has been.

“He is not going anywhere. He is still going to work with ITV and is still going to work with talkSPORT. He is still doing a lot of work and quite rightly so.”


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