Gary Lineker ‘jokes’ that time on Match of the Day is ‘almost up’ after star’s short spell from the sky

Gary Lineker ‘jokes’ his time on Match of the Day is ‘almost over’ after star’s brief stint amid furor over his Nazi tweet jibe

  • Former England footballer, 62, said he is ‘old’ and could be replaced soon
  • Lineker said Jermaine Jenas is “drifting” to become Match of the Day host

Gary Linker joked that his time presenting Match of the Day is “almost over” after being off the air for his tweet comparing the government’s rhetoric on migrants to that of the Nazis.

The former England footballer, 62, said he is ‘old’ and could soon be replaced by Jermaine Jenas in the host’s seat for the Premier League show highlights.

Lineker spoke with BBC colleagues Alan Scheer and Micah Richards for a Game of the Day: Top 10 Podcast Episode Featuring the Top Football Experts.

Discussing the nominations, he said Jenas was “drifting” to be Match of the Day presenter instead of him.

Lineker said: ‘Obviously there are a lot of experts who didn’t make the list we got.

The former England footballer, 62, said he is ‘old’ and could soon be replaced by Jermaine Jenas

Lineker spoke to BBC colleagues Alan Shearer and Micah Richards for a Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast episode judging the top football experts

Lineker spoke to BBC colleagues Alan Shearer and Micah Richards for a Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast episode judging the top football experts

“The likes of Andy Gray, Danny Murphy, a brilliant analyst, Jermaine Jenas — who is probably leaning more towards my role. I think Jermaine is also doing very well with The One Show.’

When Richards asked if he was “nervous” about losing his role, Lineker replied, “Nervous? I am old. My time is almost up.’

It comes weeks after Lineker was suspended from hosting the highlights program following a tweet comparing the government’s migrant handling to Nazi Germany.

The tweet sparked a weekend of mutinous chaos in which fellow pundits and presenters walked out in solidarity, before being reinstated the following weekend.

Lineker had insisted that his status as a sports presenter employed by the BBC on a freelance basis meant he was not subject to the same impartiality rules as other staff.

But the dispute sparked suggestions rival broadcasters might try to poach him, with insiders saying both Channel 4 and ITV are interested in securing the rights to Match of the Day from 2025-26, The Telegraph reports.

The BBC’s current package is said to be worth £211.5 million – for three seasons until 2024-25.

But Lineker is wanted by BT Sport to become the face of their rebranded football coverage next season, with the presenter likely to be inundated with offers following his suspension.

Jermaine Jenas, who is mainly used as a studio guest or pundit alongside a BBC Sport commentator, but has demonstrated his presentation skills on The One Show

Jermaine Jenas, who is mainly used as a studio guest or pundit alongside a BBC Sport commentator, but has demonstrated his presentation skills on The One Show

BT Sport will relaunch as TNT Sports this summer after being acquired by Warner Brothers.

The 62-year-old hosted BT Sports Champions League coverage for six years until 2021 and lives close to the new studios they are moving into in west London.

TNT Sports has two seasons of live Premier League rights and four more years of Champions League matches when they start later this year, and is also in the market to buy EFL rights.

It comes after Lineker won a legal battle with HMRC after being charged with nearly £5m in unpaid tax on Tuesday.

He was told by the IRS on Tuesday that he should have been classified as an employee of the BBC and BT Sport for his presenting duties, rather than a freelancer.

The IRS pursued him for £4.9 million, claiming he had been charged on the income he received between 2013 and 2018.