Klopp set to lead manager and player boycotts on Match of the Day

Jurgen Klopp set to lead boycott of Match of the Day from managers and players following crisis talks on Friday night… as show of solidarity for axed presenter Gary Lineker continues

  • Mass walkouts occurred after the BBC axed Gary Lineker from Match of the Day
  • The presenter was temporarily dropped for standing firm on his ‘Nazi’ jibe tweet
  • Pundits, commentators, players and managers won’t appear on the programme 

The Premier League informed clubs that players and managers would be stood down from their post-match Match of the Day an BBC TV commitments during a chaotic Friday night.

Sportsmail understands, however, that – for the time being – the BBC’s Radio Five Live coverage will not be impacted – though there are now doubts over whether players and managers will complete any televised interviews for their Final Score show that airs at 4.30pm.

It emerged on Saturday morning that the BBC had informed the Premier League that the 12 clubs playing today would not receive requests for interviews amid the controversial Gary Lineker row.

‘We have been informed that players involved in today’s games will not be asked to participate in interviews with Match of the Day.’ a spokesperson from the PFA revealed on Saturday.

‘The PFA have been speaking to members who wanted to take a collective position and to be able to show their support for those who have chosen not to be part of tonight’s programme.

Players and managers will not be interviewed on Match of the Day – meaning Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (above) will not give the show his post-match views after visiting Bournemouth

The BBC programme is in ‘crisis’ with no presenters, pundits or commentators for the first time in its history after the corporation’s decision to boot Gary Lineker off air led to mass walkouts

‘During those conversations we made clear that, as their union, we would support all members who might face consequences for choosing not to complete their broadcast commitments.

‘This is a common sense decision that ensures players won’t now be put in that position.’

Sportsmail’s sources claim the decision was mutually agreed, however other insiders have suggested that the BBC’s move not to request interviews is simply a face-saving exercise because players were determined to show their solidarity.

The news comes as a further development amid a chaotic 24 hours for the BBC amid a mass boycott in solidarity with Lineker which continues to disrupt the nations’ flagship football show.

Lineker, 62, was temporarily dropped as Match of the Day’s presenter on Friday after the BBC decreed his ‘Nazi’ jibe tweet that compared the Home Office’s immigration policy to 1930s Germany breached impartiality rules.

Match of the Day regulars Ian Wright and Alan Shearer quickly stepped down from their punditry roles in support of Lineker, prompting mass walkouts from fellow pundits, commentators and even players.

Alex Scott, Jermaine Jenas, Mark Chapman and Micah Richards followed their colleagues’ example on Friday evening, handing Match of the Day its worst disruption in the programme’s 59-year history.

A well-placed insider described the presenters’ mutiny as a ‘proper BBC crisis’.

Gary Lineker was told that he either had to stop his politicised posts or quit the BBC altogether

Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have both confirmed they will not be appear on Match of the Day 


The punditry duo took to social media on Friday to confirm they were boycotting the TV show

The Football Writers Association, of which Lineker is a member, tweeted their support for the presenter this morning.

‘We stand in solidarity with any of our members whose freedom of speech is threatened or impinged. We stand together with Gary Lineker.’

Sportsmail revealed on Friday evening that managers and players were considering joining the boycott in solidarity with Lineker, and the programme’s organisers have subsequently cut their losses by choosing not to hold any post-match interviews.

This means the likes of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Chelsea head coach Graham Potter will not deliver their thoughts on Match of the Day.

READ MORE: What did Gary Lineker say? Match of the Day presenter’s ‘Nazi’ asylum seeker policy tweet that sparked row with BBC


Liverpool manager Klopp is set to lead the boycott as he travels to the Vitality Stadium to face Bournemouth in Saturday’s early kick-off.

In the wake of the mass boycotts, the BBC confirmed it was unable to find a presenter to fill the vacant hot seat, and with no top commentators the corporation may have to rely on the Premier League’s world feed service.

Regular Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson said he and other talking heads have vowed not to participate in the next programme. He said: ‘As commentators on MOTD, we have decided to step down from [Saturday] night’s broadcast.

‘We are comforted that football fans who want to watch their teams should still be able to do so, as management can use World Feed commentary if they wish.’

He added: ‘In the circumstances, we do not feel it would be appropriate to take part in the programme.’

Cancelling the programme altogether would put the BBC in breach of a £70million-a-year contract with the Premier League.

‘At it stands I think anything is possible,’ a senior figure from the Match of the Day team told Sportsmail on Friday night, an hour before the BBC confirmed the programme would go ahead in a statement released at 9.15pm.

Presenter Alex Scott stepped down from her role on Football Focus in solidarity with Lineker

‘Some of our pundits have said that they don’t wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary,’ the statement read.

The BBC’s axing of Lineker has caused disruption beyond just Match of the Day. 

Scott, host of BBC’s Football Focus, will now not present the popular sports show in support of her broadcasting colleague, The Sun has learned. 

Her role will be filled by Kelly Somers, a presenter and commentator for the broadcaster, in the interim.

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