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Soccer Saturday fans fume at new-look show without Jeff Stelling

Soccer Saturday fans fume at new-look show without Jeff Stelling

Fans of the show Soccer Saturday aren't pleased with the new-look studio or panel without Jeff Stelling.

Soccer Saturday fans are divided after witnessing the new look show for the 2023/23 campaign without Jeff Stelling.

The start of the new season and first Saturday of the 2023/23 campaign marks the first showing of the programme without fan favourite Jeff Stelling for 25 years - a change which has seemingly divided viewers.

His successor, Simon Thomas, took charge for the first time today as Sky Sports unveiled both a new style and studio. He was also joined by a panel consisting of Paul Merson, Clinton Morrison, Michael Dawson, Sue Smith and Neil Lennon.

Speaking ahead of his first day in the role, Thomas addressed viewers by saying: "It's a new season, we have new managers, new players and there's a bit of a new feel as you might already have seen to Soccer Saturday.

"One or two tweaks here and there. We have a brand new studio, a new look but hopefully everything you still love about this terrific show.

Soccer Saturday's new layout
Soccer Saturday's new layout

"It is an absolute honour to host this brilliant show! If I can do half the job that the legend Jeff Stelling did over the last 25 years, I will have done something right!"

Fans were quick to react to the new changes on social media, with one saying: "Yellow graphic needs to go at bottom. Size of text on right side needs to be bigger. Studio looks like a game show and not a good one. I'll watch if there's banter and some entertainment but must admit bit stale."

While another one added: "Great start from Simon. Shame 60% of the panel is woeful."

Simon Thomas presenting Soccer Saturday (via Sky Sports)
Simon Thomas presenting Soccer Saturday (via Sky Sports)

However, some fans did offer some more positive feedback on the different format. One said: "Seen a lot of negativity about the new Soccer Saturday lineup. I think @SimonThomasTV is doing a cracking job and studio is a look towards the future!"

While another added: "Great to have you in the hot seat. Enjoy every moment! Keep a good mix of football discussion and humour."

Former host Stelling reacted to the news of longtime favourite Bianca Westwood Dickie Davis leaving the show.

He said: "Such a great girl, such a great reporter. I have to say that of course as we are doing 30+ theatre tour in Jan and Feb. But I also mean it."

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports

Topics: Football, EFL Championship, League One, League Two, Jeff Stelling, Fan Reactions