Rachel Riley will not be returning to her role as a pundit on Sky Sports’ Friday Night Football and it’s all thanks to abusive Tottenham fans online.
A Sky Sports source has confirmed to the Daily Mirror that the 31-year-old would not be returning to the show.
“At the end of the season she contacted the head of football, saying she felt it wasn’t right to be part of that programme,” they said.
“This was something she was considering in advance of the West Ham-Spurs match.”
It comes just weeks after Riley came under attack on social media for calling Tottenham’s performance in their 1-0 defeat to London rivals West Ham a “proper bottle job” on the show.
The loss effectively ended Spurs’ lingering title hopes, all but handing the Premier League title to Chelsea in the process.
Evidently upset after the damaging defeat, Riley’s comments did not go down well with a certain section of the Lilywhites’ support.
“It’s déjà vu for Spurs isn’t it, a proper bottle job,” the Countdown star said on the show, when discussing the match with co-host Jeff Stelling.
Tottenham fans were soon laying into the presenter on Twitter, prompting Riley to post an apology tempered with an explanation over her comments.
“Didn’t mean any offence to Spurs or their fans tonight just a surprise to slip v WHam with their form on paper. Personal abuse is hideous.,” she tweeted.
“For the record I didn’t say Spurs are bottle jobs but tonight’s game was a test of nerve.
“I love football, always have, always will, banter is fun, abuse is not whoever/whatever/wherever #respect.”
Riley has so far failed to confirm whether the incident was the final straw in her decision to exit the programme.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.