Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ask Ryle Nugent why I'm not there - John Giles 'disappointed' to be dropped from RTE panel

John Giles and Eamon Dunphy
John Giles and Eamon Dunphy
John Giles
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

John Giles has confirmed that he would be willing to join the panel for RTE's coverage of the Ireland-Scotland game for free and that he has not spoken to RTE Head of Sport Ryle Nugent about the issue.

RTE have claimed that John Giles was not dropped from the coverage but that he had fulfilled his contractual obligations in terms of games and the decision was made for 'scheduling and availability' reasons.

The senior analyst, who will be replaced on the panel by Richie Sadlier, claims that similar situations have been 'flexible' in the past.

"Ryle Nugent is the Head of Sport, you'll have to ask him why I'm not on the panel," he told Off The Ball on Newstalk this evening.

"I made it very, very clear that I was available and I wanted to do the match.

"There is a contractual situation where I am contracted to do a certain amount of matches and I have fulfilled the obligations for those matches but we've always been very, very flexible on matches that we've done and we could do more for less.

"I made it clear that I could do an extra match and made it clear that there would be no extra payment for that.

"What RTE have released is that it was the scheduling and availability... I am available to do the match.

"The second thing is... Ryle Nugent believes that this is the best panel for the match. That's his decision.

"I can't go along with the reason of the contractual situation."

Asked if anything had been said to him regarding the panel going in a different direction, he said: "I've never spoken to Ryle Nugent about it.

"Any information I got from Eugene O'Neill, who is the producer of our particular programme, I've never spoken to the Head of Sport directly about this.

"I would have liked to have got a call from the Head of Sport to explain to me what the situation is."

Giles' partner on the panel, Eamon Dunphy, tried to intervene and compel RTE to use the 'Three Amigos' for the Scottish encounter.

"I think Eamon did make a case to Ryle Nugent about getting me on on Saturday. I had to stress to Eamon that I'm not seeking this. It's like going to a party that you're not invited to.

"Eamon and Liam certainly wanted me to do it but it's not their decision."

The former Ireland player and manager has been clearly affected by the fact that he won't be on with Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady on Saturday night for a game of such magnitude.

"I'm very disappointed, it's one of the biggest games we've had in recent times. I've been involved with the Irish team for a very long time and wanted them to do well," he added.

"It's a match I'd love to do and I'm not doing it. I'm not moaning about it, if RTE want to do what they are doing that's their business. That's the call they're making and the call they most honestly believe is the best for the station."

Giles revealed that his current contract expires with the national broadcaster in August and that he is unsure about the future.

"I'm contracted up to August, I'm not actually contracted at the moment to the rest of the campaign so I don't know what the future holds... we'll have to wait and see," he said.

The thought of retirement is something that has never entered Giles' head.

"I feel okay, I enjoy doing what I'm doing. I feel I'm capable of doing what I'm doing. I'm 74 now... I'm knocking on a bit but I don't believe in the age situation.

"If RTE think differently then it's not just my decision."

Ratings for the games involving Giles, Brady and Dunphy have been achieving have been good according to the 74-year-old.

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