Sky Sports Soccer Saturday return in doubt despite Premier League restart – EXCLUSIVE
Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday is a staple of many football fans’ weekend as supporters eagerly tune in to watch Jeff Stelling and co. provide all the latest scores and analysis from across the UK.
The entertaining football results show has been off the screens since early March as professional football was postponed because of the coronavirus.
Plans have been drawn up for the season resume on June 17 but that does not necessarily mean one of Britain’s most-loved football programmes will follow suit.
“I honestly don’t know at the minute,” Stelling, speaking on behalf of Prostate Cancer UK, told Express Sport when asked if the show will return this season.
“Obviously with the return of the Premier League that is some encouragement but that wouldn’t be enough for Soccer Saturday to return.”
Stelling presents the six-hour show alongside four former footballers-turned-pundits.
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But given the strict social distancing guidelines there may be more difficulties in getting Soccer Saturday back up and running than initially meets the eye.
Stelling and co will also have the issue of a spread out fixture list, which is going to be built to allow more games to be broadcast on TV.
“We are reliant on a number of games and the best hope is that the Championship does and that those games are going to be on Saturdays,” Stelling added.
“If it is then I assume that we’ll be back that weekend although because of the way the show is we are reliant on floods of scores from Leagues One, Two, the National League and Scotland, it will be a different show.
“There are logistical issues as well in the sense that we have a panel of four plus me and if we are all to socially distance during a show, two meters each, then some people are going to be sitting in the corridor.
“We have got camera men and floor managers so there would be logistical issues.
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“Bringing the boys down from various parts of the country. I’m sure we could get them there but there is nowhere for them to stay at the moment.
“There will be a way around it I’m sure. I would hope we would return at the end of the month but there are no guarantees at all.”
Stelling has been in contact with his Soccer Saturday guests over the past three months to check-in that everybody is doing well.
“I have spoken to them on the phone and by text over the course of the last three months,” he said. “They have all got by.
“One of Phil Thompson’s sons is a doctor so he has been on the front line. He has been concerned about him.
“Alan McInally has been locked up on his own at home for however many months.
“We can get out and about on the golf course again now but his partner lives in Canada so they have been separated.
“Everybody has had their own issues but it has been nice to talk to them from time to time.”
What is happening today?
On Tuesday 2nd June Prostate Cancer UK will be sharing latest statistics which show that prostate cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK for the first time. This news comes 10 years earlier than previously predicted due largely to increased awareness of the disease in recent years.
Prostate Cancer UK will be using this to highlight the need for more research to tackle the disease. However, the COVID-19 crisis has put much of this research at risk and the charity is calling for support to raise the millions of pounds it estimates is needed to get prostate cancer research back on track.
Find out more about the impact of Covid-19 on research and donate to Prostate Cancer UK on our website – prostatecanceruk.org/fundresearch
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