Le Saux quits BBC in World Cup row

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The Independent Online

Graeme Le Saux has left the BBC after being dropped from its commentary team for England's World Cup matches.

The BBC has confirmed that the former England full-back and Independent columnist, who has become a regular on Match of the Day, is no longer working for the corporation. Le Saux had been due to be a pundit on Match of the Day tonight but resigned after being told the BBC wanted Mark Lawrenson instead as John Motson's co-commentator on England games at the World Cup.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Graeme Le Saux was moved off the England commentary team because the BBC felt for games of this significance the audience would want the experience and expertise Mark Lawrenson brings to the commentary box. Graeme was offered an alternative role at the World Cup and opportunities to continue to learn and develop his skills within the BBC but he declined the offer."

The former Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and Southampton defender played at left-back for England during the 1998 World Cup in France.

* Tottenham Hotspur's rise up the Premiership has been accompanied by pre-tax profits of £4.4m for the second half of last year. The club's turnover for the period was £36.3m, up from £32.9m the previous year.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Spurs' chairman, Daniel Levy, said: "Much has been achieved. We will continue to look for excellent young talent in a bid to ensure the club is in the best possible position to prosper now and in the future. A lot of investment continues to be focused on academy recruits, with scouting taking place throughout the world looking for, and competing for, stars of the future."

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