The BBC have really shot themselves in the foot as far as Gary Lineker is concerned.
Match of the Day’s consummate professional was believed to have been asked to step back from presenting the programme after tweeting about Conservative Party policy, which is apparently strictly against BBC rules.
Gary Lineker to step back from presenting Match of the Day until agreement reached on social media use – BBC statement https://t.co/WMsgqRzWrw
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 10, 2023
The issue seems to be that Lineker isn’t a full-time BBC employee but is a contributor/freelancer and as such, perhaps, should be allowed to tweet as he pleases.
It appears that the BBC haven’t seen things that way in this instance, although some of their other ‘on air talent’ such as Lord Sugar are believed to have tweeted in the past with reference to political issues and there hasn’t been the same outcry from the broadcaster.
Unfortunately for the ‘beeb,’ Lineker’s fellow presenters came straight out to stand shoulder to shoulder with him, meaning that Saturday night’s Match of the Day programme will have no presenters or any pundits.
Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) March 10, 2023
I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) March 10, 2023
Not long after that, the commentators due to work on the programme also pulled out, meaning that any coverage would have to come via the world feed.
NEW | all 6 commentators due to work on MOTD tmrw pull out. Joint statement ?? https://t.co/0rSuUcoxWn pic.twitter.com/mIyIEmUftH
— Dan Roan (@danroan) March 10, 2023
Added to that, the Premier League have now advised that managers and players will also not perform interview duties for the broadcaster, and the latest development is that the BBC’s Football Focus and Final Score output will also be affected.
PFA statement ?? pic.twitter.com/7k89oSFxF6
— Dan Roan (@danroan) March 11, 2023
Sky Sports News understands that the BBC have pulled today’s Football Focus programme after Alex Scott & Kelly Somers dropped out from hosting the show. pic.twitter.com/BOfneRdpxx
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 11, 2023
It’s a huge own goal for the corporation, and one wonders how this situation is going to play out, given that it would seem to be an assumption, rightly or wrongly, that pressure has been put on the broadcaster by the government.
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