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Ian Wright says BBC leadership caused ‘hot mess’ over Gary Lineker’s impartiality

Ian Wright says BBC leadership caused ‘hot mess’ over Gary Lineker’s impartiality

Ian Wright said managers at the BBC caused a “hot mess” over the weekend after asking Gary Lineker to walk away from Match of the Day.

The former England footballer joined other pundits – including Alan Shearer and Alex Scott – and corporate presenters and reporters to stand in solidarity with Lineker during an argument over impartiality.

Football coverage on BBC TV and radio was hit before the BBC apologized on Monday and reinstated Lineker as MOTD host.

The row erupted after the 62-year-old former England striker was taken off the air for a tweet comparing the language used to introduce the government’s new asylum seeker policy to the language of 1930s Germany.

At the beginning of the Wrighty’s House podcast, the 59-year-old said the brawl was “the perfect distraction from what’s really important”.

He added: “They made a hot mess for me. I’m telling you, it’s all up front, I can’t fault my man (BBC TV Sport head) Philip Bernie, the BBC Sports team. All because of a tweet.”

This came as people from the broadcaster were invited to lunch sessions in Salford on Tuesday, so chief executive Tim Davie and the news agency’s chief executive understand.

Wright, who is also an expert on MOTD, said, “For sure heads have to roll at some point … the level of mismanagement is such that I can’t even tell you, but it’s over, everyone knows what I think about it.”

“I’m glad something happened in a way.”

On Monday, staff including sports presenter Mark Chapman returned after boycotting weekend shows.

Mr Davie also announced a review of social media guidelines with the broadcaster.

In a statement, he said: “Everyone is aware that this has been a difficult time for staff, colleagues, presenters and most importantly, our audience. Sorry about that.


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