The BBC has announced that Gary Lineker will “step back” from presenting Match Of The Day as a row over his Twitter use continues.

Lineker has been embroiled in a row over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new Government asylum policy with 1930s Germany.

The presenter faced criticism following his comments, although he initially stated that he would remain the host of the flagship football highlights show, a role which makes him the BBC’s highest-earning star – here’s everything you need to know.

How much does Gary Lineker earn?

The most recent BBC figures – published in July 2022 – showed that Lineker remains by some distance the corporation’s highest-paid presenter, with an annual salary of up to £1.355m.

However, his pay had fallen £400,000 in the previous two years under the most recent contract he with the BBC. He had previously indicated that he would take a pay cut to continue his Match of the Day role.

Lineker is a freelance presenter for the BBC, rather than a permanent member of staff.

He has fronted football coverage on several other broadcasters, such as NBC and Al Jazeera, stepping down as the host of BT Sport’s Champions League coverage in 2021.

His salary made him the only BBC star still earning more than one million pounds, after Zoe Ball took a pay cut bringing her under the seven-figure threshold.

The BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show host’s pay fell from £1.36m when she took over the UK’s most popular radio show to £980,000, after a further £150,000 cut. She volunteered the cut, saying she did not think it was appropriate to earn such a figure during the pandemic.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Gary Lineker looks on during The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on April 16, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) FILE: Gary Lineker To Step Back From Presenting BBC???s Match Of The Day.
Gary Lineker had previously suggested that he would continue on MOTD (Photo: Getty Images)

What did Gary Lineker say?

On Tuesday, Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter about a Home Office video in which Ms Braverman unveiled the Government’s plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats and said the UK is being “overwhelmed”.

The Match of the Day presenter tweeted: “Good heavens, this is beyond awful.”

Told by another user he was “out of order”, the former England striker added: “We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.”

“This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?”

Ms Braverman’s video and accompanying tweet included the words “enough is enough” and “we must stop the boats”.

Since making the comments, Lineker has faced criticism from Downing Street, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer and Ms Braverman, who accused him of “diminishing the unspeakable tragedy” of the Holocaust.

However, he refused to back down over his stance, appearing unrepentant over the message on Wednesday, when he tweeted: “Great to see the freedom of speech champions out in force this morning demanding silence from those with whom they disagree.”

He told reporters outside his London home that he stood by his criticism of the immigration policy and did not fear suspension by the BBC.

More from Television

What has the BBC said about Match of the Day?

Lineker had tweeted on Thursday that he was “very much looking forward” to presenting Match Of The Day on Saturday.

However, on Friday a BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.

“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match Of The Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.

“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.

“We have never said that Gary should be an opinion-free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”

By admin