It has been announced by the BBC that Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has agreed a new five-year deal with the corporation.
Interestingly, the new contract will include a 23% pay cut. The new deal comes at will be a very busy time over the next few years football wise.
There is Euro 2020 next year, followed by the World Cup in Qatar a year later. Two major tournaments in two years, pretty unprecedented stuff.
For these unique times, the BBC will want to rely on someone who has seen and done it all before, and Gary Linker is that man.
A sensible move by broadcaster
Lineker’s pay cut is a welcome move during these difficult times. He will understand more than most about how important it is to do the right thing during a pandemic.
After all, he is a BBC presenter, who isn’t afraid to talk about politics on social media. That is a bold move, and you can bet if he hadn’t taken a wage cut he would have faced some criticism.
However, he now has taken that wage cut, and can get on with his job for the next five years.
Lineker has done well since taking over from Des Lynam as the BBC’s main football presenter. That wasn’t an easy job to take, and he found it difficult to find his footing at first.
However, in conjunction with some good pundits, Lineker has more than made the role his own.
Former good partnerships with pundits
At first his longest partnership was with Alan Hansen, the former Liverpool defender who helped revolutionise punditry in British football with his analysis of defensive errors.
Now his best known partnership is with former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer. Shearer and Lineker – alongside Ian Wright – are probably the best pundit and presenter team on the BBC.
Few would have predicted that 10 years ago, but just like Lineker, Shearer has grown into the role.
Lineker will be 64 when his contract with the BBC comes to an end. It is interesting to speculate if he will continue on in the role after that.
Perhaps he will, after Martin Tyler just turned 75, and he still commentates regularly. Only time will tell, but for the foreseeable future, Gary Lineker is the number one football man at the BBC.