Sky sports have today confirmed the news us Monday Night Football junkies had been hoping to hear: Gary Neville has wisely turned hs back on that management malarkey to resume his vitally important public service as Sky Sports Oracle of Analysis and Orgasmic Nou Camp screams.
Yep, Sky Sports have confirmed the return of Neville in a press release on their website looking ahead to their coverage of the new Premier League season. Neville left Jamie Carragher at the MNF altar to elope with Valencia for a brief fling last season, and is now happily realising that life was better in studio with his old Liverpool sparring partner.
The news comes with a caveat: Neville will not be appearing on every broadcast, and will be one of the guests appearing alongside Carragher. Sky said that "the former Manchester United defender will also join Carragher for guest appearances on Sky Sports' award-winning Monday Night Football".
Neville himself was quoted as saying:
I am delighted to be rejoining Sky Sports and can't wait for the start of the new football season, especially as there will be a variety of new programming on the channel.
It is important for me that my role will be slightly different, and I am looking forward to the challenge of working on some new, creative and exciting projects.
While Neville returns, he will be working with a new host: David Jones is to replace Ed Chamberlin as anchor, the latter has left Sky to join ITV's Racing coverage. Jones is also the new face of Super Sundays.
Carragher tweeted 'FFS' upon the return of Neville, with the latter responding in kind:
Whilst away- I lost a few games but you lost half a million viewers and a presenter!! https://t.co/LdeC7K6517
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) August 7, 2016
Elsewhere, Jamie Carragher, Graeme Souness both return, as do Thierry Henry and Jamie Redknapp.
Sky will show 126 games live - 26 of these are 'first picks' - with up to ten of these on a Friday Night.
It had been speculated/feared that Sky would experiment with the format of the Friday Night shows, as a Daily Mail report in March claimed Sky wished to take a more "celebrity-driven" approach to the broadcast, with Vernon Kay, Holly Willoughby and Top, Top, Top Lad James Corden all believed to be under consideration to be hosts.
This has not proved to be the case, however, and the Friday Night games will be fronted by Jeff Stelling and Countdown's Rachel Riley. They will be joined by "guests from inside and outside the world of sport", according to the press release.
So while Neville is back, we won't be seeing as much of him as we had expected.
See Also: Watch: Luis Suarez Greets Old Friends And All The Goals As Liverpool Wallop Barcelona 4-0 At Wembley