Fans of The Footy Show have gone into meltdown following Sam Newman’s bombshell departure last night, with many predicting the end of the Channel Nine program’s 24-year reign.

Newman, a regular since 1994, has been one of the show’s few constants during a period of instability, with flagging ratings and competition from Seven’s The Front Bar forcing a string of changes in format and personnel.

A polarising personality, Twitter users reacted to the 72-year-old’s resignation with mixed emotions.

Since Gary Lyon’s controversial departure at the end of 2015, The Footy Show has had five hosts including Newman, James Brayshaw (2006-16), Craig Hutchison (2017), Rebecca Maddern (2016-18) and founding anchor Eddie McGuire (1994-05, 2017-present).

McGuire’s return saw a brief spike in ratings, with fans optimistic the program could return to its former glory.

But numbers have since waned to the point Nine is still weighing up whether its Thursday night staple will air at all in 2019.

Newman will host his last show next Thursday.