Richard Keys, Ron Atkinson, Alan Pardew… the most disgusting moments in the history of football punditry, after Jamie Carragher's horrific spit row

Great pay, terrific perks and none of the day-to- day pressure of being a club manager.

The only problem, of course, is that you’re only ever one mishap from the sack.

Yes, Jamie Carragher isn’t the first pundit to put his foot in it and he won’t be the last.

Check out eight other pundits to have made a right mess of things in recent years, below…

Ron Atkinson

As lead pundit on ITV’s football coverage, Big Ron had one of the cushiest punditry jobs in the game, travelling the continent with Clive Tyldesley to watch the cream of European football in the Champions League.

But all that changed in April 2004 when he was forced to resign after a racist remark about Chelsea’s Marcel Desailly was broadcast live on air (although not in the UK).

He also left his job as a columnist for The Guardian newspaper too.

Atkinson said: "He [Desailly] is what is known in some schools as a f***ing lazy, thick n*****.

To this day, Atkinson is at a loss to explain why he said it.

In his autobiography, He claimed: “It was a word I had never used before and have never used since.

“It was idiotic, stupid and offensive and I should never have said it.”

Robbie Earle

Earle had worked his way up the punditry ladder at ITV for eight years before the £150,000 rug was pulled from under his feet.

But he only had himself to blame.

During the 2010 World Cup, Earle had bought a block of 40 seats for the Holland v Denmark clash, tickets that were meant to be used exclusively by his friends and family.


CARRA GONER Jamie Carragher should be sacked by Sky Sports for spitting on 14-year-old girl, according to football fans


But when 36 women dressed in identical orange mini-dresses turned up take the seats – they were part of an ambush marketing campaign for a beer company – suspicions were raised and the tickets traced back to Earle.

What made it worse was that Earle hadn’t even sold the tickets on and that a close friend had flogged them.

With friends like that, etc, etc…

Rodney Marsh

In a Janaury 2005 edition of You’re On Sky Sports the flamboyant former Man City star told viewers that David Beckham has rejected a move to Newcastle after hearing about the trouble with “the Toon Army in Asia.”

It was barely a month since 200,000 people died in the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Close the door on your way out Rodney.

Peter Beagrie

When Beagrie and his somersault celebration finally called it a day, the former Everton winger turned to a career in the media and became an integral part of Sky’s football coverage.

That all ended last year when Beagrie was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, an offence that saw him receive a 12-months community order and 15 days of rehabilitation, as well as paying prosecution and court costs of £710.

Initially, Sky had suspended him but when the verdict came, they cancelled his contract.

Chris Price

The BBC Radio Manchester reporter was sacked after a on-air remark during a Bradford v Rochdale game in 2010 where he said that Dale were “making more holes in the Bradford defence than in a Spanish aircraft”.

The ill-judged line came just a week after 153 people died when a Spanish airliner crashed at Barajas International Aiport in Madrid.

Price described it as a “horrible mistake.” The BBC agreed and showed him the door.

Richard Keys

The beginning of the end for Keys at Sky Sports came in 2007 when having watched a Euro 2008 qualifier between the Faroe Islands and Scotland, he finished his link before adding his own final send-off.

“Daft little ground, silly game, f*** off!” he said.

Trouble was, the mic was still on.

Richard Keys… again

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Keys, along with his co-presenters Andy Gray were sacked by Sky in 2011 when they caught describing the Premier League’s first female assistant referee, Sian Massey, as “a bit of a looker.”

Gray, meanwhile, asked: “What do women know about the offside rule?”

Further clips of the duo’s sexist behaviour was soon leaked and though Keys defended it all as mere “prehistoric banter” the pair were given their cards.

Graham Richards

As BBC Radio Derby’s match reporter Graham Richards was the go-to man in the East Midlands when it came to County’s matches.

But it was during a game against Leicester in 2001 that it all came crashing down around his headphone-enveloped ears when he described the Foxes’ Brian Deane as going “down like the World Trade Centre.”

It was four days after the terrorist attacks on New York.

Alan Pardew

We’ll go easy on Pards as he’s got a lot on his plate at the moment.

But in 2009 he was forced to apologise after comparing a tackle by Chelsea’s Michael Essien on then-Man City striker Ched Evans to rape on Match of the Day 2.

He said: “He's a strong boy. He knocks him off… he absolutely rapes him."

Not surprisingly, the BBC received 35 complaints after Pardew’s outburst…. and Pardew was never asked back to the MOTD panel.

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