Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo pulled out of TV interview after he received vile abuse by fans

EXCLUSIVE: Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo ditched his Sky Sports TV interview after dismal North London derby defeat due to fans’ vile abuse – and now similar post-match media duties are set to move back indoors

  • Tottenham suffered a heavy 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in the north London derby
  • Nuno Espirito Santo’s interview was pulled after he received abuse from fans 
  • The Spurs boss came back out for the interview after fans left the ground 
  • Proposals are set to be brought in to move interviews back indoors 

Sky Sports gave Nuno Espirito Santo the all clear to abandon his post-match interview following the North London Derby after the Tottenham head coach received X-rated abuse from supporters.

But proposals, that are set to be implemented from as early as this weekend, could spell the end of the chaotic post-match scenes that have proved so problematic for broadcasters this season with at least some interviews allowed to be back inside the stadium.

Having arrived for his post-match interview with host broadcaster Sky Sports following the defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Nuno was forced to disappear back down the tunnel just as the interview was about to start. 

Nuno Espirito Santo’s interview had to be pulled as he received abuse from supporters

And Sportsmail understands Sky, together with the match manager, gave Tottenham the green light to pull Nuno out of the interview because supporters who remained in the stadium targeted the Spurs boss with vile abuse.

Head coaches are required to report for their post-match media duties within around 20 to 45 minutes of the final whistle – but Spurs and Nuno are unlikely to be reprimanded for not adhering to those conditions given the circumstances.

Eventually, Nuno returned to complete his media obligations after the majority of fans had gone home.

The issue of fan disruption, however, has been a major concern at most top-flight stadiums this season.

Post-match interviews have been conducted pitchside since Project Restart due to strict Covid-related restrictions set by the Premier League. 

Santo received the abuse after Tottenham's 3-1 north London derby loss against Arsenal

Santo received the abuse after Tottenham’s 3-1 north London derby loss against Arsenal

But the return of supporters has created huge difficulties for broadcasters, with fans staying behind to ruin post-match interviews.

Supporters are not required to leave the stadium until an hour after the match, creating obvious difficulties for stewards given they cannot forcibly remove spectators.

But, as per plans seen by Sportsmail which could be ratified in time for this weekend’s round of matches, some interviews are set to be moved back inside stadiums.

As it stands, the plans to move interviews inside will only apply to host broadcasters, such as Sky or BT Sport, who will be designated one room inside the stadium to carry out their duties.

Out-of-form Tottenham were blown away by their rivals in a woeful first-half performance

Out-of-form Tottenham were blown away by their rivals in a woeful first-half performance

However, that means other broadcasters such as international TV, radio and club media, will still be required to carry out their work on the pitch and will still face disruption. 

With that in mind, it is also proposed that clubs have the option of moving the outdoor post-match interview area towards the centre of pitch to lessen the disruption caused by fans.

While that option will not be necessary for the most games, the possibility of moving away from the pitchside area would be useful for certain matches where the rivalry between clubs is high, such as local derbies.

However, there is some doubt over whether moving interviews nearer the centre-circle would solve the problem because modern day microphones are so sensitive that additional noise would still be picked up.

Proposals are set to be brought in to move TV interviews back indoors going forward

Proposals are set to be brought in to move TV interviews back indoors going forward

Further issues arising with moving interviews inside the pitch will be that ground staff cannot be carry out immediate maintenance work after the game, while it would also restrict space for players to carry out post-match warm downs.

Indeed, Sportsmail understands the proposal to open up just one interview room per stadium will be met with some opposition this week.

Many clubs, particularly those with new stadiums, have more than one broadcasting interview room within their grounds. And while older stadia may not be able to accommodate more than one interview room, others would be able to offer more broadcasters the opportunity to move inside – with many clubs wanting the opportunity to do so.

With that in mind a number of clubs will lobby the Premier League for permission to accommodate more broadcasters inside according to their own facilities rather than top-flight imposing one rule for all 20 clubs.