FORMER The Footy Show host Garry Lyon says he campaigned for “three or four years” to freshen up the struggling Channel 9 program.

“I always felt that the show, in its 24th year, having had basically the same format as it had when it started in 1995 needed freshening up,” Lyon told SEN Breakfast.

“In fact, changing dramatically.”

Lyon indicated Nine bosses were reluctant for change because ratings had not been impacted.

Since Lyon sensationally split from the program in 2016, to deal with personal issues, the program has continued to slump.

Meanwhile, Channel 7’s rival The Front Bar has surged in popularity.

“Once you get under 200,000 (ratings) I guess it’s a bit of semantics,” Lyon said.