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Lineker: Hero or Villain for Breaking BBC Rules?

Hero or Villain? 🤔

Did Gary Lineker misuse his power when comparing Government policy to Germany in the 1930s?

When you have high public profile - mainly due to your long relationship with the BBC - do you have additional responsibilities?

Tim Davie’s main focus since arriving at the BBC has been to restore its impartiality in reporting the news

Love it or hate it, the BBC is one of very few global news channels that is as close to impartial as you can possibly get.

In airing his personal views, Lineker is in danger of reducing the BBC to just another biassed news outlet

1 step away from becoming the British Fox News

2 steps away from State controlled media (think Russia, Iran, North Korea)

It’s how Donald Trump swept to power

Just because you don’t like what the Government’s doing, it does not make Gary Lineker right

Lazy Leadership

Lineker's assertions are not just factually incorrect. When when you have 8million+ Twitter followers, you’ve just spread your inaccuracies to them too.

Donald Trump swept to power using similar tactics, calling anything he didn't like to hear "fake news."

“I don’t fear being sacked” is in itself arrogance of the highest order. After all, when you have wealth most people can only dream about, it seems you can say anything you like with no consequences.

But there are always consequences.

In airing his personal views, Lineker is calculating that his political power is greater than that of his boss - the Director General of the BBC.

Does he believe he is invincible?

Don't get me wrong, it's marvellous that Lineker wants to lend his voice to the most vulnerable in society, though I'm intrigued as to why he didn’t withdraw from the World Cup in Qatar.

Lineker expresses not the voice of the concerned citizen, but the arrogance of a man of power. He is the big player who thinks he can defy the ref (Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph)

The reputation of the entire BBC and its director-general depends on telling him he cannot.

My Business Take

Whether the BBC can sanction Lineker will depend largely on the provisions on his contract (he is a freelancer, not an employee).

If your company doesn't have a written policy on social media usage, you leave yourself exposed to the point your people can write or say anything they want with impunity.

The vast majority of us will likely never come into conflict with this clause.

However, for those that prefer the freedom of speaking their minds, it’s important to observe your contract of employment.

Freelancer/taxes. Come to think of it, given the whole Uber and JustEat employment thing, should Lineker come a cropper on the whole Freelance v employee argument,

I’m wondering what the justification is for high-profile people like Lineker to maintain their freelancer status when the BBC has a dominant position on Lineker’s work life and there’s almost certainly a noncompete clause, prohibiting him from working for any of the BBC’s direct competitors, such as Sky, ITV etc

Not the 1st time he’s been warned either.

What will be the final score? Who knows but it…

Gaming it Out

What happens if lineker wins?

  1. BBC has de facto allowed its impartiality to be questioned…a slippery slope to State controlled media (think Russia/Iran/North Korea) - is that what we really want?

  2. Court of public opinion trumps employment law. Employers dislike tight labour laws. It suppresses their appetite to employ more people. If they need more people, they’ll move to a more employer

What happens if BBC wins?

Remember the BBC is “uniquely funded” by the taxpayer - ie you and me - and it won’t want to risk any of that income; it needs to be seen to act by its most powerful stakeholder…UK Government

No one is telling Lineker he cannot speak out. All he has to do is quit his job at the BBC and then he can say whatever he wants.

I wonder which he’d choose if challenged?

So What? Why does it matter?

£1.35m earnings from Match of the Day as a freelancer / outside IR35 (an already contentious position)

A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.


Telegraph (Charles Moore)



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