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27th Jul 2017

Andy Townsend’s return to ITV commentary provoked an inevitable reaction

He was in and around Everton's Europa League game

Robert Redmond

You know football is back when people are complaining about the commentators.

And while the Football League doesn’t start back until next week, and the Premier League until the following week, Thursday night marked the unofficial return of football.

Everton’s Europa League tie against Ruzomberok provoked a stronger reaction than one would expect and mainly thanks to the man in the gantry for ITV.

Andy Townsend was in and around Goodison Park for Everton’s one-nil victory and back on commentary duty for ITV. The reaction was inevitable. Townsend worked on the channel for 15 years, until 2015 when they decided not to renew his contract after losing the rights to live coverage of the Champions League.

At the time, a lot of people seemed inordinately happy that a man had lost his job. Townsend wasn’t the most popular co-commentator around, and regularly received criticism that’s now reserved for Michael Owen. It appears the masses, or at least those who watched the game and posted on Twitter about it, weren’t too happy about his return.