One of those monitoring the Gary Lineker situation closely will be the taxman.
Lineker is being pursued by HM Revenue and Customs for £4.9million it says should have been paid on income received between 2013 and 2018.
HMRC say Lineker should have been classed as an employee of the BBC and BT Sport, rather than a freelancer, with a legal hearing ongoing.
Indeed, the case and Lineker’s suspension have parallels, given the pundit’s insistence he is not bound by the BBC’s editorial guidelines as he sees himself as a self-employed contractor.
The taxman is keeping an eye on the Gary Lineker situation, amid Match of the Day chaos
HMRC say Lineker – who they are pursuing for £4.9m – should have been classed as an employee of the BBC and BT Sport, rather than a freelancer, with a legal hearing ongoing
BBC boycott causes rift within organisation
The refusal to work by a number of BBC stars in the wake of Lineker’s suspension has caused a significant rift within the organisation.
Staffers and freelancers — in many cases paid a fraction of the salaries earned by those boycotting programmes — have been facing pressure to join the ‘picket line’.
‘We haven’t earned millions, have mortgages to pay and don’t really want to be putting our jobs at risk,’ said one of those involved.
The prospect of a deluge of abuse on social media was also among considerations for those who wanted to work over the weekend. Meanwhile, reports that Lineker is being lined up by ITV are thought to be premature.
Arteta and Saka dine out after Bournemouth win
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta stunned diners at a top London restaurant when he arrived with star man Bukayo Saka.
The pair were spotted breaking bread at swanky Mayfair eaterie Novikov, hours after the Premier League leaders’ dramatic late victory over Bournemouth last week.
Novikov features an Asian room and an Italian room, where they may have sampled bruschetta with nduja, mozzarella — and a sprinkling of gold powder.
Some have wondered if the prospect of a £300,000-a-week new contract was on the menu, with Saka’s current deal expiring next year.
Mikel Arteta and Bukayo Saka stunned diners when they arrived at Novikov restaurant together
McClaren’s Dutch accent is BACK
SPORTS AGENDA is pleased to report that Steve McClaren’s famous ‘Dutch accent’ is alive and well.
The Manchester United coach triggered much mickey-taking when, during an interview in 2008 while at FC Twente, he spoke English in what sounded like a Netherlands version of Allo Allo.
Some have wondered if the presence of manager Erik ten Hag and his Dutch staff has resurrected the unique sound.
Sports Agenda is pleased to report that Steve McClaren’s iconic Dutch accent still remains
Bilic sacked by Watford after fall-out
The sacking of Slaven Bilic at Watford followed a falling-out with technical director Ben Manga, who only arrived in December.
The pair’s relationship rapidly deteriorated to the point where Manga and head of scouting Helena Costa did not travel with the team to a recent away game.
Watford’s record of sacking managers meant Bilic’s family had continued to live in Croatia.
Slaven Bilic was sacked as Watford boss following a fall-out with technical director Ben Manga
Levy entertains high-profile guests at Spurs
A couple of high-profile guests of Daniel Levy were present as Spurs’ hosted Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan sat next to the Spurs supremo, setting tongues wagging.
Rumours have long abounded that Khan wants to move the Jags to London and his appearance at a stadium specially-built to host NFL will have done nothing to quieten them.
Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan was spotted sitting next to Daniel Levy
Yorkshire hoping pop concerts can ease financial trouble
Crisis county Yorkshire are hoping to sing their way out of financial trouble by staging no fewer than eight pop concerts.
It is, however, not a strategy without risk. There may well not be enough headline acts available at such relatively short notice and the views of residents, with Headingley surrounded by housing, remains to be seen.
Wigan are at it again
On Friday, Sportsmail contacted Wigan Athletic after hearing reports that players and staff had once more not been paid on time. Attempts at dialogue were met with silence.
Then, at 12.12am on Saturday, they released a statement confirming that wages were outstanding thanks to a ‘liquidity’ issue. Pathetic behaviour, but sadly not surprising.
The suspended three-point penalty is now likely to be triggered which – in the current Championship table – would leave them nine points adrift of safety.
Players who stuck by the club despite previous issues are again considering their futures while chief exec Mal Brannigan, who asked this newspaper if there was anything he could do to keep a previous story out, has been openly trying to sell the club for £10m to £15m. Grim times.
Golf club professional to be honoured
Committee members at Wakefield Golf Club are keen to make a fuss of the fact their professional Dan Bradbury is a DP World Tour winner.
Bradbury, 23, triumphed when he won the Joburg Open in November and members voted in favour of giving him an honorary life membership, while a trophy cabinet devoted to Bradbury’s success will be built in the entrance hall.
Club secretary John Murphy contacted his counterparts at Hallamshire GC to find out what they did to honour Sheffield golfer and reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, following his maiden win on the European Tour in 2015.
Wakefield Golf Club are keen to honour Dan Bradbury after he won the Joburg Open last year
Champions League final chaos doesn’t dim British appetite for Paris
It appears that the chaotic scenes at last year’s Champions League final in Paris, involving blameless Liverpool fans being pepper-sprayed by French police, have not dimmed the British appetite to buy tickets at next year’s Olympic Games in the same city.
The first phase of Paris 2024 ticket sales saw 3.25million tickets sold — with the UK buying the most after the French.
One assumes the French authorities will be a little less heavy-handed with Games fans ahead of the men’s 100metres final at Stade de France.
Despite the chaotic scenes ahead of the Champions League final in Paris last May, the British appetite to buy tickets at next year’s Olympic Games in the same city has not dimmed