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THE BBC's World Cup plans were thrown into chaos last night when star analyst Graeme Le Saux quit in a bitter bust-up over broken promises.

Le Saux walked out in disgust after TV bosses went back on assurances they had made about his World Cup duties this summer.

He was scheduled to appear alongside Gary Lineker on Match of the Day tomorrow night but the BBC are now scrambling to find a replacement.

The row blew up after Le Saux was told rival pundit Mark Lawrenson was being given the prized job of co-commentator on England's games this summer.

Former England regular Le Saux had been told several weeks ago that he had won the race to be John Motson's sidekick.

It is even thought Le Saux had been sent schedules of the matches in Germany showing clearly that he would be covering the BBC's England games.


So he was astonished yesterday when BBC Head of Football Niall Sloane told him that plans had suddenly changed.


Le Saux was offered work on other World Cup matches in Germany and Sloane asked him to stay on.


But it is believed that Le Saux felt undermined by the decision and upset by the way the news was broken to him. Sources close to the BBC said they were hoping that the row could be patched up but that seems unlikely.


Le Saux may feel that the BBC have betrayed his trust after he effectively quit his playing career a year early to nail down a prime position.


He was promised that he had a glittering future within the corporation before he left Southampton last summer.


And he has been a popular, respected and hard-working addition to the highly-rated team of football presenters.


He has worked a series of gruelling 12-hour shifts most weekends in a determined bid to learn a new trade. But he has struggled to break into the golden circle of presenters formed by Lineker, Lawrenson and Alan Hansen.


The row is a huge embarrassment to the BBC. And they could now lose Le Saux to either Sky or ITV.


Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho and the BBC have been ordered to make peace ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup semifinal with Liverpool.


The Blues boss has not spoken to the Beeb since February's 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.


Now Mourinho has been told to go on a charm offensive to arrest Chelsea's growing reputation as Premiership hate figures.


And BBC executives have demanded their row with the man they named their Coach of the Year is settled so they can have access to the 'Special One' before and after their coverage of the Old Trafford Cup tie on April 22.


The rift with the BBC has caused huge fall-out at the club and reached boardroom level with Russian owner Roman Abramovich and chief executive Peter Kenyon being dragged into the dispute last week.


There is an uneasy atmosphere at Stamford Bridge and Mourinho is growing increasingly fed-up.


Mourinho refused to do any press interviews after Chelsea's FA Cup win over Newcastle and that infuriated BBC executives who promised to consult lawyers as they - along with Sky - have paid £300m over four years for the television contract.


They are already blanked by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson after he fell out with the BBC who are determined not to allow the same position to develop with Mourinho who was upset by Mirror Sport columnist Lawrenson's comments that Chelsea lacked humility.
 

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Red Bed said:
And he has been a popular, respected and hard-working addition to the highly-rated team of football presenters.
Highly-rated? By whom? Le Saux bumbles and gets things utterly wrong again and again. Lawro is just retarded and somehow got it into his head that he was funny. Motson... oh god, just piss off! Hopefully I get a choice in not having to listen to him talk nonsense for 90 minutes.

As for Jose, I don't get it. He always bangs on about how in Portugal he would get bottled for doing this or that, yet somehow he is overly offended by football opinions. Although lawro is indeed a ****.
 

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Marc said:
Highly-rated? By whom?

By me :stuckup:

The BBC pundits are the best by miles, for me.
 

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Le Saux does my head in. It's a good thing he's off although it does appear that BBC screwed him.

I'm sure they'll replace him with someone equally worse.
 

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Le Saux is the most boring man alive.

At least Lawrenson is vaguely funny, in an Alan Partridge kind of way.
 

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Lawrenson is a total cock, so anyone would be preferable to him (even Le Saux) so this is bad news. It's going to raise my stress levels too much this summer shouting "you ****ing cock" at the TV everytime Lawrenson appears on it. If it's him an Ian Wright in the same studio the TV is getting thrown out my window!
 

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Gordy said:
Marc why dont you apply to be a football pundit?
Why would anyone want to hear my opinion. :howler: I only speak it here because I think it annoys people which is somewhat entertaining. :D

Jimbo - Yeah, but you don't count 'cos... you have awful shoes!

Mark Bright or some nonce will probably get the job now instead, the beeb will keep their high standard of vaccuous opinions. I kind of like Ian Wright, although he clearly has the mental age of 5 pushing 8, he is honest and forthcoming. He'll point at Beckham ducking out of a challenge or acting an idiot while the others will bluster on. He has no control of his mouth which at the very least is comical.
 

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Rob Edwards said:
Plus if Marc was a pundit they'd have to extend half time to four hours just so he could get his thoughts in. ;)
I can skip to my summary paragraphs thank you very much. :pp

"We're playing shit! Sven's a cvnt, that homosexual wannabe on the right is acting a tosser, Gerrard and Lampard have been drugged and coincidentally Rio has been handing out drugs. I hate you Hansen you smug git! You'll never be English, so you can stop dreaming! Lineker, grab your kit, we need you! Ian... we don't need you, sit down. *smashes window* WHERE'S OUR TWELTH MAN YOU LAZY BASTARDS! LETS BE 'AVIN YOU!"
 

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Rob Edwards said:
I don't mind Le Saux, he's quite articulate./QUOTE]



So is my left elbow, but we don't want it on Match of the Day do we!?!?

Le Saux is about as interesting as an Everton reserves match.

Lawrenson (great player) unfortunately sounds like he's on Helium.

and as for someone saying the best commentators are on the BBC, well their isn't much competition is there!! Clive (ooooh what a big Man U fan I am) Tyldesley, and then Townsend and McCoist!!! We'd be better of with Ant & bleedin Dec!!

I agree with the Niall Quinn bit, he is alrightn and I don't mind Graham Taylor.
 

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I quite liked Le Saux. Unlike Schmeichel he could finish a sentence, and he didn't try to be funny like Lawrenson, who agrees with every report done also, and it a useless co-commentator. It is a loss, as he was better than most of their pundits.

Lee Dixon is the best though ;)
 
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