Paul Merson has said Matt Le Tissier was issued with several warnings before he was sacked by Sky and recalled the time he told his ‘close friend it's not always clever to be clever'.
Le Tissier – who worked for Sky for 15 years – was sacked in August 2020 after being a regular member of Soccer Saturday, which is hosted by popular presenter Jeff Stelling.
The former Premier League footballer was given his marching orders after sharing his controversial views on a variety of subjects including the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Paul Merson has said Matt Le Tissier was issued with several warnings before he was sacked
Le Tissier was sacked by Sky in August 2020 which he believes was due to his views
When asked about Le Tissier's sacking, Merson said his ‘friend' should have reined it in after being warned multiple times. He also said Le Tissier didn't have ‘to share his beliefs'.
Speaking on Rob Moore's YouTube channel, Merson said: ‘We are close me and Matt. We are close. My thing that I said to Matt, and I think this is a big compliment, sometimes it's not always clever to be clever.
‘He had a couple of warnings and you know, when you have a couple of warnings you pull it in. If you have certain beliefs, you don't have to share them.
‘I was just on the radio now coming in and a good friend of mine, who I really like and think is a top bloke, Trevor Sinclair done something yesterday. He believes that but he shouldn't have said it.'
Le Tissier suggested that Covid PCR tests ‘were the biggest fraud perpetrated on mankind'
He re-shared an image which had been posted by a user in response to a video showing a police officer challenging a member of the public about the failure to wear a protective mask
He went on to add: ‘I think Tis (Le Tissier) got a couple of warnings. So you know, if you have a couple of warnings, you pull it in.
‘That's why sometimes it helps me not being bright. I am clever in certain ways and not clever in other ways.
‘I love Tis. Tis was one of the best English footballers when you talk about gifts. That's a gift. But, I don't get involved.
‘I didn't get involved in the Covid stuff. Those conversations, in that way I am just not that bright about certain things so I don't say them.'
Le Tissier used his Twitter account to spread conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 vaccine to his 593,000 followers. It was reported that his posts were also being shared by Premier League footballers who were hesitant about getting vaccinated.
Le Tissier received criticism on social media but went on to share more controversial beliefs about the pandemic – claiming ‘PCR tests were the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.'
On Twitter, Le Tissier retweeted a post suggesting the media have ‘lied' about certain events
The former footballer also suggested that news outlets were using ‘actors' to depict the impact Covid-19 was having.
In an interview with The Times, in relation to images of intensive care patients struggling to breathe due to Covid, Le Tissier said: ‘Some of those were actors, by the way.'
Le Tissier went on to share his beliefs on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. He felt that images of the devastation in Ukrainian towns and cities during the conflict ‘had been falsified.'
As result, Le Tissier quit as an ambassador at Southampton Football Club in April after stopping short of apologising for spreading conspiracy theories about Russia's massacre of civilians in Bucha.
However, the former Premier League star did later admit his Tweet questioning the truth over the events in Bucha was ‘the wrong thing to do'.
Nevertheless, he was still sacked by Sky.
Pictured: Bags containing bodies of civilians, who residents say were shot by Russians troops
A visibly emotional President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the devastation in the war-torn town
Describing how he was told of his sacking, Le Tissier told The Rob Moore podcast: ‘Within five seconds I was told there was no more work for me at Sky.
‘I had about seven months left to run on my contract but I was told that I wouldn't be needed anymore.
‘They didn't really give a particular reason, they just said “the show was going in a different direction”, they were the words I think they used. So I asked the question, “does this have anything to do with my posts on social media?”
‘To which their reply was, “well we have to take into account the reputation of the company when making these decisions.” At which point I said “oh that's interesting, because at the moment, you are employing somebody who spat at a girl from his car”.
Le Tissier criticised Sky for keeping hold of Jamie Carragher – who had ‘spat at a girl'
Le Tissier played 270 Premier League games for Southampton and scored 100 goals
‘Jamie Carragher, who spat at a young girl through his car. They suspended him for six months and then brought him back into the fold.
‘I said “do you not think that might have harmed the reputation of the company at all?” and I got told “we can't talk about other people on this”. So that was it really.”
Le Tissier played 270 times for Southampton in the Premier League, scoring 100 goals. He also played eight times for England.