'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.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Philippe Coutinho's long-awaited return was totally overshadowed by Lucas Leiva scoring his first goal since 2010

GAA round-up: Cork hurlers continue unbeaten start to the year

FA Cup wrap: Liverpool advance while Shane Long secures Saints’ progress

Footballer facing FA charge over Harry Arter comments


Today's Stories

Eanna Falvey answers Lions call for New Zealand tour

Michael Conlan will rule Madsion Square Garden ‘for years’

Lucas proves unlikely hero for Liverpool

Páraic Duffy: Sky deal has been ‘terrific’ for Irish diaspora

Lifestyle

Jackie Kennedy’s love of, and visits to, Ireland

Trendsetter Jackie Kennedy knew the power of image and branding

Documentary on Simon Fitzmaurice is a tale of sadness and inspiration

Check out some top life advice from a variety of experts

More From The Irish Examiner