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Jeff Stelling's emotional decision to walk away from Soccer Saturday stems from Sky Sports sacking his old co-hosts, according to reports.
Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier were all axed last year, which apparently angered Stelling.
That's according to The Sun who claim the 66-year-old was not consulted properly and felt a sense of loyalty to the trio.
The reason for their departure has never been confirmed by Sky, though it was said that the company were moving in a new direction with their coverage.
An insider said: "Phil, Charlie and Matt were not just colleagues they were mates, and that means a huge amount to him. Jeff is believed to have thought of little else other than of leaving since then.
"He has just been waiting for the right opportunity.
"If the three hadn't been axed the way they were, Jeff would have stayed on."
Stelling made his shock announcement to leave Sky Sports live on air last weekend.
Jeff Stelling will leave Soccer Saturday at the end of the season, saying "it is time to let somebody else have a go at what is the best job in the world".- Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 30, 2021
He told viewers: "I have come to the incredibly difficult decision that this will be my last season.
"This is my decision - there has been no pressure. Sky have been absolutely brilliant with me, as they always have been.
"I am not intending to retire but it is time to let somebody else have a go at what is the best job in the world.
"I have loved every moment of my 30 years with Sky, but like every Saturday afternoon the time eventually comes to blow the final whistle.
"I am proud to have been part of such a winning team for so long and look forward to the many more special moments on Soccer Saturday for the rest of this season - and perhaps even another promotion push from Hartlepool United."
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports/PA
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