Gary Lineker ‘is SNUBBED for BBC’s new Champions League present’

Gary Lineker has reportedly been snubbed from presenting the BBC‘s new Champions League highlights programme next season, bringing into question his future on Match of the Day.

The BBC signed a groundbreaking three-year deal back in 2022 to broadcast highlights from Europe’s elite club competition from the start of the 2024-25 campaign, with 16 shows planned on Wednesday evenings across the season.

However, according to The Telegraph, despite Lineker hosting the BBC’s flagship football show, Match of the Day, he won’t be a part of their new programme.

Given he had previously presented BT Sport’s Champions League coverage, Lineker was seen as a frontrunner for the role, but the report goes onto claim that Gabby Logan has instead been picked by BBC bosses.

Lineker has just 12 months remaining on his £1.35m-a-year deal at the BBC and this latest development adds further uncertainty to his future with the corporation. 

Gary Lineker has reportedly been snubbed from presenting the BBC's new Champions League highlights programme next season

Gary Lineker has reportedly been snubbed from presenting the BBC’s new Champions League highlights programme next season

There was already a lack of clarity over whether this would be extended after his suspension from Match of the Day last year, which caused several of his fellow pundits to strike in solidarity, something that embarrassed leading BBC figures. 

Lineker was reprimanded by the BBC in March 2023 after posting on social media that the Conservative government’s language around asylum policy was ‘not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’.

These comments caused controversy and led to the BBC taking him off Match of the Day that week, something that led to the likes of Alan Shearer and Ian Wright striking in protest.

Meanwhile, the report goes onto add that the BBC did hold talks with Lineker over their new Champions League highlights show, but failed to make him a formal offer. 

It is understood that his busy schedule, which includes his hugely successful Rest is Football podcast, coupled with his lack of desire to travel up to BBC’s Salford studio for midweek programmes, have played a role in the decision.

The Telegraph report similarly says how Lineker’s future is now in the hands of BBC director general Tim Davie, with the channel having secured Match of the Day until 2029 and needing to provide clarity over the future of the programme.

Lineker continues to be forthright in his political views, something that is viewed uneasily by those at the BBC.

However, after that suspension last year, an independent panel subsequently ruled that the channel’s non-news presenters should be allowed to express political opinions.

Lineker also attracted the ire of many, including some within the England camp when being particularly critical of the Three Lions’ displays at Euro 2024.

This included the 63-year-old labelling their display against Denmark as ‘s**t’, something skipper Harry Kane hit back at. 

The BBC are expected to confirm more about their new Champions League commitments next month.