Soccer AM presenter John ‘Fenners’ Fendley reveals he faces a ‘consultation process’ at Sky Sports
Soccer AM host John Fendley claims that ‘no decisions’ have yet been made over the show, which is facing the axe at Sky Sports.
Fendley is a current host alongside former professional footballer Jimmy Bullard, with the final edition of the programme expected to air on May 27, and he took to Instagram to inform fans of the show’s future.
Plans to axe Soccer AM – which has been hugely successful for the broadcasting giants since it was first aired in 1995 – are part of a wider shake-up at Sky Sports.
Some of the channel’s long-serving and popular football reporters are among those believed to be at risk, with the axing of Soccer AM not marking the end of cuts.
‘There’s been a lot of coverage in the past few days about Soccer AM so I wanted to clarify the situation,’ he wrote.
John ‘Fenners’ Fendley (second left) took to Instagram to assure viewers that ‘no decisions’ have been made over Soccer AM’s future
Fendley took over from previous presenter Max Rushden in 2015 and has hosted the show since
Fendley took to Instagram to inform fans that ‘no decisions’ have been made over Soccer AM
‘Sky has made a proposal about next season and we will go into a consultation process. No decisions have been made at this stage and no one has been made redundant.’
Fendley has been a presenter on the show for eight years, initially partnering Helen Chamberlain after Max Rushden’s departure, before being paired up with Bullard from 2017.
A Sky spokesperson confirmed that the channel’s coverage of football would be ‘evolving’ in line with changes to the ways that viewers consume content.
As a result, they claimed that the new proposal could see new roles created, while other positions may be closed.
Soccer AM is reportedly to be taken off air at the end of the season as part of a Sky shake-up
‘Our coverage of football is evolving to reflect the changing habits of our viewers and ensures we continue to deliver the best experience for customers,’ said a Sky spokesperson.
‘Our proposal would mean the creation of new roles, and the closing of some existing roles, and we are currently in a consultation period with our people.’
Sportsmail was also informed that existing reporters had been asked to reapply for their roles at the broadcaster, although Sky has refuted this claim, instead insisting the shake-up is in pursuit of greater evolution and diversity.
It is only two years since the last round of job cuts inside the Sky Sports football department, which followed financial problems caused by the Covid pandemic.
Saturday Social, which previously aired before Soccer AM, is reportedly going to fill the vacant slot from next season with an aim of targeting younger viewers.
Tim Lovejoy and Helen Chamberlain were huge successes as the show became a must watch
Rushden partnered Chamberlain from 2008 as the show had huge ratings
SOCCER AM HOSTS THROUGH THE YEARS
Russ Williams (1995–96)
Helen Chamberlain (1995–2017)
Tim Lovejoy (1996–2007)
Andy Goldstein (2007–08)
Max Rushden (2008–2015)
Lloyd Griffith (2017–2019)
John Fendley (2015–present)
Jimmy Bullard (2017–present)
Soccer AM has proven to be a huge hit for Sky since it first hit screens in 1995.
The 90-minute football comedy show include a variety of segments as well as sitdowns with some of the game’s biggest players and managers.
Russ Williams and Chamberlain were the original hosts, before Tim Lovejoy replaced Williams two years in.
Lovejoy, who hosted it through until 2007 before being succeeded by Andy Goldstein, and later Rushden, would regularly cause havoc in one of the many segments he came up with.
Geoff Shreeves could be axed by Sky Sports, with the broadcaster making major changes
Shreeves, pictured here interviewing Jack Grealish after Man City’s title win last year, has been a key part of the growth of the coverage of the Premier League on Sky Sports
The shake-ups at Sky Sports could also see iconic pitchside reporter Geoff Shreeves lose his job, as the broadcast considers further cuts.
The veteran reporter has been an ever-present part of their coverage since joining the organisation in 1992.
But now Shreeves is under threat of being axed, with bosses making major changes and Soccer AM already looks set to be on the scrapheap.
Shreeves’ arrival at Sky coincided with the start of the Premier League and his voice has become a constant for football fans over the years.
Source of data and images: dailymail