'Off the Ball' team back on radio 'as soon as possible'

Calm down sports fans – the former hosts of ‘Off The Ball’ say they'll be back on the airwaves “as soon as possible”.

In their first public statement since yesterday’s shock announcement that they quit the station, the five presenters blamed a row with Newstalk management for their decision.

“Sorry we couldn’t make the show last night,” the statement read.

“Over the last 18 months we have been in discussions with Newstalk about ways to develop our programme. Unfortunately there are fundamental differences of opinion between management and ourselves about the show’s future potential and its ability to grow an audience at an earlier time.

“We’re gutted to leave behind something we love but after eight years we feel it’s vital that our product continues to evolve and improve.

“We would like to sincerely thank Newstalk for giving us a chance to put the show together.”

They went on to pay tribute to their loyal following, hundreds of whom expressed their dismay on social media and to the station since the news broke, even forming the Free The OTB 5 Facebook group.

“We won’t have the opportunity to say goodbye on air, so thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years and over the past 24 hours - particularly our listeners, who are the best in the country,” the statement continued.

“The five of us are determined to be back on air together as soon as possible.”

Where next for Ireland’s favourite sports radio presenters? Paddy Power figure RTÉ to be the likeliest destination at odds of 6/4, with others speculating that the creative freedom of their own digital offering would suit them best.

Don't worry, it won’t be long before politicians are reading carefully-prepared media statements in their honour again.

For the moment, you can enjoy the ribbing they got from Gift Grub, or some of their Newstalk highlights below.

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