According to the Mail Online, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been offered the opportunity to become BT Sport’s lead football pundit.
Rio Ferdinand, 34, has less than six months left on his Manchester United contract and with him being shunned by England manager Roy Hodgson, he could well hand up his boots at the end of this season.
BT have secured the rights to 38 Premier League games in each of the next three seasons and with Sky having former Red Devil Gary Neville on their books, the broadcaster are keen to bring in big names. BT have already signed up Dame Clare Balding and given her own flagship show, which she is delighted with:
“I’d like to thank BT for giving me the opportunity to present my own magazine-style programme in which I can interview iconic sports stars and discuss newsworthy and stimulating topics.”
Ferdinand isn’t the first footballer to be approached by a media outlet towards the end of their career, with Gary Neville, mentioned above as well as Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker all involved in the presenting side of football.
Alan Shearer did have a brief spell in management with Newcastle United back in 2009 but him along with several others seem to think that a career in media is a better choice than managerial one.
It’s unclear whether Rio is even considering retiring at the end of the season, but with Frank Lampard, Jamie Carragher John Terry, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs all coming to the end of their footballing career, we could potentially see a lot of new footballing pundits in the next few years.
Jamie Carragher is also another possible pundit that BSkyB and BT are fighting over, but England coach Roy Hodgson believes the Liverpool faithful will turn down the media and continue in football:
“After retirement, I am sure he will march quickly up the coaching ladder and become one of the country’s top young coaches.”
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This article was first posted on February 19, 2013