AHEAD OF THE GAME: BBC bid to tie Gary Lineker to new MOTD deal

Gary Lineker is set for a new contract as the BBC look to tie down £1.35m-a-year Match of the Day host… just eight months after highest paid star was suspended over migrants Tweet

  • Lineker BBC’s highest-paid on-air talent for six years despite COVID paycut 
  • PLUS: EFL to hold talks with FA over Swindon Town’s £1.25m Chelsea loan  
  • England will struggle to win a trophy with Kalvin Phillips – It’s Kicking Off

The BBC are preparing to open contract talks with Gary Lineker next month, once their successful bid for four more years of Premier League highlights is confirmed.

Mail Sport revealed last week that the BBC will keep showing Match of the Day until 2029 with their free-to-air rivals ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 not entering the Premier League rights auction.

Lineker’s £1.35million-a-year contract expires when the BBC’s existing deal for highlights runs out at the end of next season, and the corporation are eager to secure their top-paid presenter.

The 62-year-old was suspended for a week by the BBC last March after declaring that the Government’s language around asylum policy was ‘not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’. BBC colleagues — including pundits and commentators — went on strike in support of Lineker and an independent panel subsequently ruled that the BBC’s non-news presenters should be able to express political opinions.

Lineker has continued to talk politics, backing pro-Palestine marches since the terrorist attacks in Israel last month and supporting protesters’ right to hold events in London on Armistice Day.

The BBC will look to enter talks with Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker over a new deal

In March, Lineker was suspended from the corporation for a week after posting a tweet that compared language used by the Government to that of ‘Germany in the 30s’

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He has been the BBC’s highest-paid on-air talent for six years, although did volunteer to take a pay-cut from his previous salary of £1.75m in 2020. In addition to retaining Match of the Day, the BBC will have Champions League highlights from next season, which may appeal to Lineker, who previously presented coverage of the competition for BT Sport.

The EFL will hold talks with the FA over whether Swindon Town broke third-party influence rules following reports the League Two club accepted a £1.25m loan from Roman Abramovich six years ago. The former Chelsea owner is alleged to have issued the loan to Swindon through a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, Leiston Holdings, which was never repaid. Both clubs face charges. 

The Premier League have suffered a setback in the domestic TV rights auction, with Apple TV confirming they do not intend to bid. The streaming service are only interested in buying content which gives them global rights, whereas the Premier League sell rights regionally.


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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