ITV ready to swoop for Lineker if the Match of the Day presenter quits

ITV is ready to swoop for Gary Lineker by offering to triple his salary if the Match of the Day presenter resigns over his stand-off with the BBC

  • ITV could offer Gary Linker triple his BBC salary in ongoing row over impartiality
  • Read more: Gary Lineker LIVE: BBC cuts Match of the Day to 20 minutes

ITV is ready to take advantage of Gary Lineker’s stand-off with the BBC – and could even triple his salary.

Bosses at the commercial network have long coveted the Match Of The Day frontman – and are understood to see this as their chance to woo him.

He has resisted previous efforts to sign him up because of his loyalty to the programme. But after the BBC suspended him, ITV chiefs now hope to land his signature with a tempting package.

He could triple his pay from the £1.35million he earns at the Beeb – and would not have to declare it publicly because it would no longer be funded by the licence fee-payer.

Lineker, 62, would also be able to tweet freely – unleashed from BBC restrictions on expressing political views.

ITV chiefs now hope to land Gary Lineker’s signature with a tempting package of more than triple his current pay 

Lineker’s son, George, hinted that his father might be happy to quit the BBC, by retweeting a post by Spencer Morgan 

ITV has the broadcast rights to both the men’s and women’s World Cups, the Euros championships, the FA Cup and Champions League matches.

Yesterday, Lineker’s son, George, hinted that his father might be happy to quit the BBC. 

He retweeted a post by Spencer Morgan, the son of former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, who wrote: ‘Just like Dad, Lineker refused to be forced into apologising for having his own opinion. I know how this story ends… in an enormous salary increase.’

ITV is one of the best payers in the industry, and recently locked Ant and Dec into a three-year golden-handcuffs deal worth a reported £30million.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak urges ‘talented’ Gary Lineker and the BBC to resolve their dispute  

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, her co-star on This Morning, both earn around £2million a year.

A source said: ‘ITV will be excited by what is happening at the BBC – it’s the best chance they have had to get Gary.’

A spokesman for the former England captain declined to comment yesterday on any possible move.

However, friends pointed out that in 2021 ITV hired him to host the quiz show Sitting On A Fortune, which has been recommissioned. 

One said: ‘ITV see Gary as a great fit – he has a huge following and knows his stuff when it comes to football. He is the host of the most watched football programme, so would bring an audience with him, and he also has a brand to take with him.

‘Gary would undoubtedly be able to name his price and his terms, which is something that he is going to always be restricted with at the BBC.’

Another source said ITV would be delighted to get him after the BBC poached some of its best stars, including Ms Willoughby, Joel Dommett and Bradley Walsh.

‘Landing Gary would be a great piece of revenge,’ said one insider.

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