Gary Lineker

This just in: free speech advocates demanding someone is sacked for exercising free speech!!!

To follow: right wingers claiming they have been silenced appear on national news shows to demand someone is silenced!!!


Top bloke, he should join Sir Starfishes labour party and tell the BBC to go swivel until it reforms. Let them get Le Tiss in to present MotD and he can make hilarious comments like 'I bet he's had a booster' when someone goes off injured.

I'm all for him exercising his free speech rights. The problem is that he is taking 1.35 mill a year from the public purse on terms that require political neutrality. Let him quit the BBC and rant away - he will become just another irrelevant leftie fool (and a hypocrite to boot with his film scheme tax dodging and now IR35 tax dodging as well).

I'm all for him exercising his free speech rights. The problem is that he is taking 1.35 mill a year from the public purse on terms that require political neutrality.


This, tbf.

I understand why news and current affairs politics etc need to by politically neutral and I understand why programs need to be politically neutral.  I dont understand why a sport presenter has to be politically neutral off air - what has it got to with his job?   Are people that work for the BBC not allowed to express opinions?

I think it is crazy the BBC pays him what it does.    He is good at his job but he is not the main event of what he does, people tune in for the football not the presenter.   Offer him a reasonable salary and if he doent like it he can go to sky.  But he is still entitled to political opinions.

He has the profile he does because of a publically funded role. The person paying his salary (and yes that is what it is, his IR35 is a tax dodge) had told him not to get political and he has ignored a direct instruction from his employer. Anyway he might not be giving them any choice as he says he intends to continue his left wing activism. So they'll have to can him. Let him spout all he likes without the BBC funded platform to get people to listen.

Given that Alan Shearer gets £450k I think GL represents great value. Also good to see celebs saying what they think rather than what their press team tell them is best. LOL @ Agnew whining - Agnew is a certified pompous cock in private and a shit commentator to boot. He's upset he can't air his views because the khuntometer would reach 11. 

LoL @ someone called George Graham insisting the man not the ball is played. He has the profile he does because he's one of England's greatest strikers who is also articulate and puts co-hosts at ease. 

We'll take the whiney aunts views on board when they produce their letters to the BBC insisting Jeremy Clarkson remains apolitical. 

Also we know exactly where the order to admonish Lineker came from - the bent bastard installed at the top that arranges loans for a political party. Weird he can remain apolitical when called upon but Sue Gray has permaLabourbrain. 


Can't see the BBC bringing a claim for something which has caused them no loss.

I suspect they think he's right but have to be seen to do something and so have commented accordingly 

wot bananaman says.  What GL says is high profile not because he is working for the BBC but because he is one of our greatest ever strikers and is intelligent articulate and personable (if extraordinarily vain).  If not working for the BBC he would still have a high profile, not only for his past but because somebody else would be employing him in a high profile role.  

As is public knowledge, he is supposedly not an employee but rather his company is a self employed contractor (tax at employment income rates is for the little people). As is also public, he has already been reprimanded for breaching impartiality guidelines last year and has been instructed to STFU. Obviously I haven't seen the actual contract with Gary Lineker Ltd but it seems reasonable to assume that the BBC can and should just terminate it on whatever notice the contract requires, and he would have no employment protections.

This is the BBC showing fear of speaking truth to power.    Shame.    

The government openly admit their strategy is in breach of international standards of human rights that most of Europe has agreed to (except Russia and Belarus of course).   Why the fook should everybody not call them on it?

Heh @ Jelly. Btw your hero Gary also did the film schemes which were just out and out blatant tax dodging, worse than his current IR35 arrangement which is pushing the limits in a grey area rather than an outright scam. Do you not see any inconsistency at all between this and publically trumpeting your virtue at every opportunity?

He avails of tax schemes to limit his exposure to tax, just like we all do. If he gets it wrong, he'll get done for it. 

He calls out racism and xenophobia where he sees it. 


Not sure how those are inconsistent, but I'm sure you'll be able to explain it. 

George, are you somehow saying that people that take  tax avoidance steps have no right to express an opinion on immigration policy?  Thats a bit weird m7.

No - no right to express an opinion they don't agree with on a platform completely unconnected to the BBC.

It's funny how much they shit themselves when someone with a significant following says something they disagree with. I guess they still burn from Marcus Rashford owning them with lefty ideas of children not starving.  

Guy, leaving aside his publically funded role, I don't think tax dodging should mean his free speech is curtailed. I do think, however, that doing aggressive tax avoidance while simultaneously trumpeting his left wing virtue makes him a hypocrite.

No,  left wing people are just as entitled to take steps to avoid tax as right wing people.   He would only be a hypocrite if he said taking tax avoidance steps was wrong, opining about Brexit or immigration or whatever does not make him a hypocrite.

I don't think it is necessary for a sports pundit to have rules on political neutrality in his contract. I wouldn't expect the news reader to be banned from openly supporting a football team either.

What and how he is paid by the BBC is not justifiable though, and Shearer also being overpaid isn't persuading me otherwise.

The tax position doesn't need to be an actual scam to be criticized, it's public money so the standards ought to be high.

Do we get to chose how are taxes are spent now? Or do we get to complain about how they're spent.  The latter is open to anyone (and I bet Mr Linekar has paid more tax than you, George). 


Agree with SFB on first para. 

Struggle more with second and third paras - which feels like a difficult balancing exercise, rather than a point of law.  One person's "aggressive" is another person's "prudent" of course.  I'm not saying it's wrong, for reference.

He would only be a hypocrite if he said taking tax avoidance steps was wrong, opining about Brexit or immigration or whatever does not make him a hypocrite.

I just laugh at his attempts to claim that he's really a self-employed consultant selling his services to the BBC.  When was the last time he did any broadcasting work that wasn't for the BBC?  If you're going to claim you're not an employee then you should at least pop up on another channel from time to time.

So far as I can see, "Mr Lineker" used film schemes to dodge tax on personal income, and the IR35 money might be sitting in the company after tax at the CT rate and no more. can't remember if he got away with the film schemes or whether HMRC forced him to cough up. So it's not at all clear that "Mr Lineker" (as opposed to Gary Lineker Ltd) is actually paying more tax than I am.

To be fair, Sails, don't you see him on one of the commercial channels as well, I think BT Sport?

I don't know the detail of his IR35 arrangement but I suspect it will be pushing the boundaries of a grey area to minimise his tax bill and not necessarily the worst tax scam going. It's the film schemes that were really dodgy and yet the lefties on here are prepared to defend even aggressive tax dodging, provided the person doing it has the right views.

Why on earth would I tell you that, Jelly? I can tell you that I pay income tax at the full applicable rates, and NI, with zero tax dodging arrangement in place and zero pushing of any grey areas or anything like that.

Just to be clear, you've gone from "he should be sacked for breaching impartiality rules" to "people that use salary sacrifice can't advocate for anything other than tax reductions"? It's almost as if you just want anyone not right wing to be quiet but are just dressing it up with lots of twaddle. 

Also he presented CL football on BT Sport for ages so Sails point is nonsense too. 

I'm not defending his tax affairs. I just don't really think it's relevant to whether or not he's right to slag off proto Nazis and far and alt right assholes. 

I think Boris Johnson is a prick who should probably be in jail. He was right to offer support to Ukraine. You see - you can both hate someone and agree with a single action they carry out. You should try walking and chewing gum, and build from there. 

Do you pay into a pension George? Is there a point at which someone has to start surrendering all their income to the maximum possible tax, or are you going after auto-enrolled cleaners that are members of any political party other than the Tories, Freedom Party or BNP? 

yet again, a clear example of the sinister and shadowy rightwhinging cabal that control the press and dissemin7 misin4mation flexing their gammon 2 try 2 silence some1 saying something perfectly obviously tru

the really unpleasant part is that they will use ne means 2 do so. they r quite happy 2 attack woteva irrelevant personal shortcomings or contradictions he has, but that’s just the start of it

they r the enemies of freedom

it’s quite astonishing how actively and willingly rof’s rightwhingers gargle on their sinister spunk

To be clear, the impartiality point is separate from tax avoidance. I'm not saying that tax avoidance should get him sacked, only that it makes him a hypocrite.

"[You said] people that use salary sacrifice can't advocate for anything other than tax reductions"

No I didn't. A film scheme is nothing like a salary sacrifice arrangement. The tax treatment of the latter is accepted by HMRC. Even the use of a personal company, if implemented aggressively (which seems to be the case here, as it's been challenged by HMRC) is not comparable to salary sacrifice.

y do rightwhingers keep saying that. tax avoidance is not legitim7 - there’s tons of legislation aimed at preventing tax avoidance schemes

that ex-clifford chance tax partner explains it quite clearly on his blog

"Do you pay into a pension George?"

Another very bad argument - I suggest you stop posting these. Contributions to a registered pension scheme are not comparable to a film scheme or aggressive use of a personal company by a quasi-employee.

i’m no employment lawya, but i thought the whole fake contractor actually employee stuff is more designed 2 protect employees who r being rinsed

lineker no doubt has loads of other stuff he wants 2 do, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable that he doesn’t class himself as an employee and so the beeb doesn’t pay in2 his pension etc

Do you work in comms George - just keep w**king on like Michael Howard and hope you never have to answer the question? Your entire point is to shut down someone you disagree with, dressing it up as some sort of quest against hypocrites everywhere. People who disagree with Lineker can disagree with him on Twitter, but you'd rather shoot the messenger or insist on selective enforcement of impartiality rules.


former pretend libertarian , risky, petitioning again for people he deems ideologically non-compliant to be harassed by the instruments of state in a manner that his dear friends in Moscow would recognise non shockeroo 

As for the crisps angle I used to take time off my regular and do a second job from time to time as well as doing it at weekends.  My second job was clearly self-employed as I was selling my sailing services to charter companies on a daily basis but it didn't stop me being an employee of my usual employer.  The fact his done some crisps ads on the side doesn't stop him being a BBC employee.

"Lefties/ EU fans are real charmers, aren't they? So open-minded and tolerant of other people's views!"

Seems George's campaign for free speech was for a limited time only. Hopefully his campaign to see consistent implementation of BBC impartiality guidelines lasts as least as long as it takes for someone he agrees with to breach them. 

"just keep w**king on like Michael Howard and hope you never have to answer the question?"

Lol. You'll have to remind me - what was the question again? lost track of it amongst all the other stuff you wrote...

Linekee’s had his bbc talking-to now and has tweeted that he’s going to continue, which I think is exactly what he did the last time he did this and got a talking-to

I think I understand the position on tax avoidance now. Public services, hotels etc for the Calais boat immigrants should be paid for by the thick, bigoted Great British Public, and if they don't like it, they are racist. Gary, while advocating taking in the Calais migrants, should not have to pay for any of the associated costs. The valuable public service he performs in highlighting the need to support these vulnerable people should be payment enough, and we should all be grateful to him.

He's just teeing up leaving the BBC. So obvious. Sooner or later they will extend the reporting stuff to the service co people, if not already tbf, it's a total piss-take obvs. He'll go to Sky or sth for millions and his angle will be he's a ppl's champion or some bollox. These ppl are all vile.

Quips I know of course, it's legal to try to reduce your tax burden, it's not a point of law. He's incredibly well paid in public money for something he is only moderately skilled at. He should expect to be criticised for his tax avoidance, it's all fair comment.

That is a separate point though, why shouldn't he have political opinions and express them as any other voter can, it just isn't relevant to his job to be neutral. 

He is not moderately skilled at it, he is excellent at it, as will be demonstrated by the bidding frenzy if he leaves the BBC.    I dont think the BBC should be paying a million pounds a year for a football presenter but that is undoubtedly below his market value.

I agree with you risky.   I dont think the BBC should pay him a million pounds for match of the day.    He is a good anchor for big events (as Des Lynham used to be) they should just use him for that.

Guy, FAOD, would you support the right of any very high profile (non news) BBC presenter, on 7 figs of public money, to tweet to their 8m followers comparing Labour to a genocidal Soviet/ communist regime, and repeatedly make strident anti-Labour tweets (despite being repeatedly asked not to by the BBC?)

Please try to give a full and honest answer rather than just typing "yes."

Heh. Well at least you're consistent. Just don't agree with this. If someone wants to take the 7 figs of BBC/ public money then IMO they should do what the BBC asks and STFU with the political sh1tposting.

just to be clear oracle - apparently I am both "King George" and "absurdiness brown" and I think at one point I was said to be "risky" as well - are all 4 of us the same person? I guess it must be impossible for more than one person to hold what you consider to be unacceptable views?

Well at least you've withdrawn the accusation of being risky. Progress, I suppose. I think I'm right in saying that at one point a while ago you referred to me as being "one of risky's stinky socks," or words to that effect.

Whether you believe it or not, I've never posted as either King George or absurdiness brown.

I don't recall insulting anyone but so far on this thread I've had "You're a dick" and "ur more unpleasant [than risky]," just for having the "wrong" opinions. Par for the course from the kind, caring leftists.

I'm trying to get some work out as well as sh1tposting on here. Please don't make me waste time searching for it. Was a while ago but you def posted something like this. Might have got the exact word wrong but it had "sock."

I like GL on MofTD.  I haven’t read these political views as don’t read the kind of media on which he would be giving his opinions or the media that is giving opinions on his opinions. If he is not mentioning it on MofTD there is no issue IMO and can’t see there is a breach of contract. Nobody has to read this stuff. Eg If he wrote a book no one has to read it. 

People seem to be confused about 'self employment' and 'contracting'.

As I understand it, Lineker - like many others - has had advice from his accountant that he can minimise his tax liability by setting up a company, run by himself, which employs him to provide services to the BBC (and presumably other parties). So he's not self-employed, he's an employee of his own company. 

If he was arguing that he was 'self-employed' he'd be able to get someone else to do his work for him, which clearly the BBC would not allow. But if his company contracts with the BBC to provide 'the talent' to compere Match of the Day and so forth, then an alternative will not do and would be a breach of contract. 

The BBC saves money, because it doesn't have to pay any National Insurance contributions in respect of Lineker's income. 

I must admit I'm a little hazy on how Lineker saves money, unless the company is registered offshore. And even then.

As for the furore: someone on R4 yesterday was pompously asserting that 'the British People' expect and required highly paid sports presenters on BBC to be neutral politically'. 

I don't. I expect other journalists to be politically neutral, but not a sports presenter.



As for the furore: someone on R4 yesterday was pompously asserting that 'the British People' expect and required highly paid sports presenters on BBC to be neutral politically'.

Ridiculous, they don't even require them to be neutral about the sport which they are paid for their punditry. Nobody moans when Lineker has a wry smile at a Lolcester win or Shearer when Newcastlol manage a result.