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Volume 6 No. 214
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BBC Match Of The Day Pundit Alan Hansen Quits His Job After More Than 20 Years

Longtime BBC football pundit Alan Hansen "is expected to exit 'Match of the Day' at the end of next season," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Hansen "has one year remaining on his BBC contract and there seems no great wish on either side to renew a contract that expires after the World Cup." BBC is "likely to give the Match of the Day show a much-needed shake-up after the departure of Hansen, who has been the main analyst on the programme for so long." Hansen, who was earning a staggering £1.5M ($2.3M) a year, "had to take a considerable pay cut when he signed his current two-year deal" -- eased by BBC's move from London to Salford, much closer to his Southport home (DAILY MAIL, 5/14). In London, Jack Pitt-Brooke reported Saturday night football "has always been picked apart by Hansen, as he reclines on his sofa, waits for the mistakes and then dissects them with merciless disdain." But "it was a fairly inflexible art and there has been a growing sense that the old Match of the Day way is now so set and so comfortable in its routine that it is vulnerable to new ideas." And so it "has proved with Gary Neville on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports, far less laconic than Hansen but far more engaging and enthusiastic" (INDEPENDENT, 5/15).