Gary Lineker was apparently given a new job just one day after the BBC sacked him.
During conversations on Friday, Lineker was advised to step down from hosting Saturday night’s program of Match of the Day (MOTD).
The BBC wants to negotiate an arrangement with Lineker about his social media use after a tweet criticizing the government’s new asylum policy sparked an impartiality row.
Instead of prepping for MOTD on Saturday, Lineker was spotted at the King Power Stadium, where he witnessed Leicester City lose 3-1 at home to Chelsea.
Many of Lineker’s BBC colleagues have publicly supported him, notably Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, who both informed their employers that they would not be appearing on Saturday’s MOTD.
Wright has even stated that until Lineker is reinstated, he will leave MOTD for good.
The drama has escalated into a full-fledged problem for the BBC, which will allegedly air a 20-minute edition of MOTD on Saturday evening.
Saturday’s MOTD will apparently be televised without commentary due to the show’s commentators’ support with Lineker.
Gary Lineker ‘offered new job’
It’s unclear where the BBC and Lineker will go from here.
Other broadcasters, notably BT Sport, are allegedly keeping a close eye on the situation.
According to The Sun, Lineker is being courted by BT Sport to be the face of their relaunched football coverage next season.
After being acquired by Warner Bros. Discovery, BT Sport will rebrand as TNT Sports in time for the 2023-24 season.
And they are reportedly looking to Lineker, MOTD’s principal host since 1999, to broadcast next season’s Premier League coverage.
Lineker previously hosted BT Sport’s Champions League coverage for six years, until 2021.
He revealed his intention to leave the station in May 2021, stating that he wanted to accompany Leicester in Europe with his sons.
Nevertheless, if he is unable to strike an arrangement with the BBC, the potential to be the major face of TNT Sports, which will have two seasons of live Premier League rights and four more years of Champions League games when they launch this summer, may appeal to Lineker.