Veteran TV legend blows hole in Steven Gerrard's Rangers exit claims
Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Veteran TV legend blows hole in Steven Gerrard's Rangers exit claims

Rangers TV commentator Clive Tyldesley has blown a big hole in Steven Gerrard‘s reasoning for leaving Ibrox last year; explaining that the Aston Villa boss knew about the Premier League’s side much earlier than he claimed.

The veteran commentator let slip that Gerrard knew about Villa’s interest in luring him away from Ibrox ‘about a week before it happened’ – despite Gerrard’s protestations that he knew nothing about it until an approach was made to Rangers.

Photo by Willie Vass/Pool via Getty Images

While Tyldesley understands why Rangers fans were disappointed with the manner of Gerrard’s exit, his attempts to defend him appear to have only served to throw the Liverpool icon under the bus.

“If there are Rangers fans who are disappointed that he left when he did, I get that and he gets that,” Tyldesley said [The Sportsman].

“It was on the eve of a big cup tie at Hampden Park, a semi-final with a big European game to come. He didn’t choose the timing. He didn’t know about Aston Villa until about a week before it happened. So, this was a decision that he was faced with.

“All his life has been around English football and the Premier League but, more importantly, he lived essentially on Merseyside in the Southport area. The number of times that I would talk to him on a Saturday morning, to get some team news, and he would be on the M74.

“He would have gone home after training, on Friday in Glasgow, back to Merseyside just to see Alex and the kids, and Saturday morning driving himself, not a driver – he drove himself back to be there at lunchtime when the players met for a game.

“These guys are very, very lucky, I’m very, very lucky, but their family lives are naturally disrupted by football. The ones who still value their family life like Steven Gerrard, if they get an opportunity to move closer to home, to be able to get home every night, pretty much from training, then that is going to be a big sway in their decision.

“The only insight that I can offer you into Steven’s decision are the number of phone calls I had with him on the M74. The M74 is no place for any of us to be.”

What Steven Gerrard had to say after Rangers exit

Speaking after his unveiling as Villa boss in November, a week after his appointment was confirmed, Gerrard said: “It was a difficult decision and I certainly left with a heavy heart.

“I built up some fantastic relationships up at Rangers. It’s a club that I’ve got immense respect for. I was given a remit three-and-a-half years ago up at Rangers and went on a journey and we completed that remit.

“Approximately 10 days ago, the opportunity came to join another iconic club… it was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass me by.”

The problem is that Gerrard’s ten days simply don’t tally up with Tyldesley’s timeline – being out by at least a week or so.

While Gerrard was well within his right to accept Villa’s offer, there’s a feeling he just says what he thinks people want to hear.

Perhaps Tyldesley has his timelines confused but it appears that suggestions Gerrard was looking for a way out long before Villa came calling are closer to the mark than thought.

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