EXCLUSIVE: Ian Wright drops out of the BBC's highest earners

EXCLUSIVE: Ian Wright drops out of the BBC’s highest earners as he takes a pay cut of at least 29 per cent with Match of the Day’s biggest stars all having their salaries slashed

  • The earnings of the BBC’s biggest stars was revealed in Tuesday’s annual report
  • Match of the Day host Gary Lineker’s pay fell by 23 per cent, down to £1.75m  
  • Ian Wright, a pundit on the show, has seen his earnings fall by a bigger margin 
  • BBC High Earners’ list: Zoe Ball knocks MOTD host Lineker off top spot

Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright has taken a major pay cut, with his wages at the BBC falling by at least £60,000 and dropping him off the corporation’s high earners’ list completely.

The BBC published the salaries of its on-air talent on Tuesday as part of its annual report, revealing that host Gary Lineker and pundit Alan Shearer had seen their pay dramatically slashed.

But Wright was a notable absentee from the list altogether as the BBC does not disclose the earnings of any employee that is below £150,000.

Ian Wright’s pay at the BBC has fallen by 29 per cent from £210,000 to below £150,000

Gary Lineker (left) and Alan Shearer (right) have also taken pay cuts on last year’s wages

Last year, the former Arsenal and England striker was on the list and was revealed to earn between £205,000 and £209,999. His omission means his pay has now fallen by at least 29 per cent.

Lineker’s wages went down by £400,000 to £1.35m, which is a drop of 23 per cent. Shearer, meanwhile, saw his pay fall by as much as £55,000. Last year, he was on £440,000-£444,999 and he now earns £390,000-£394,999.

Jermaine Jenas, meanwhile, earns £200,000-£204,999 and last year was on  £210,000 – £214,999.

The trio appeared together on Match of the Day on Saturday night – the first show of the 2020-21 Premier League season. 

Earlier this year, the BBC announced that it had to find around £125m in savings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But the overall cost of wages for their on-air talent have actually risen by £1m to £144.6m. The top earners are all white, while the gender pay gap was reduced from 6.7 per cent to 6.2 per cent in the last 12 months.

Lineker’s pay deal was announced alongside his agreement of a five-year contract with the BBC.

Lineker, Shearer and Wright were on the first Match of the Day this season on Saturday night

Match of the Day host Lineker’s 23 per cent pay cut took his earnings down to £1.75m 

When the announcement broke, Lineker said on Twitter: ‘Oh dear. Thoughts are with the haters at this difficult time.’

But the 59-year-old took a more serious tone in his BBC statement, saying: ‘I love working with the BBC, and am very proud to continue to be a part of their outstanding football team.

‘I’m looking forward to the next five years – with a European Championship and World Cup on the horizon, it’s exciting times for me and the team.’



£1.75m to  £1.35m – down £400,000 and 23 per cent


£445,000 to £395,000 – down £50,000 and 11.25 per cent


£210,000 to at most £149,999 – down at least 29 per cent  

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