Gary Lineker to step down as BT Sport's Champions League presenter
Gary Lineker has announced he is stepping down as lead presenter of BT Sport’s Champions League coverage after six years in the role.
The broadcaster and former footballer, who took over the job in June 2015, will step back after Saturday’s all-English final in Porto, featuring Manchester City and Chelsea.
Match Of The Day host Lineker said BT Sport had offered to renew his contract but that he had decided to “call it day”.
He said he hoped to follow Leicester City, his youth club, around Europe with his sons after the team qualified for the Europa League.
Lineker said in a statement posted on Twitter: “Porto’s mouth-watering all-English final this weekend will be my final Champions League show for BT Sport.
“I’ve loved hosting the best club tournament in world football and I’m genuinely proud of being part of their truly groundbreaking coverage over the past six years. I would like to thank BT Sport for the generous renewal offer, but after much thought, I have decided to call it a day.
“I feel it’s time to do things that I’ve always promised myself I’d do: such as follow Leicester across Europe with my sons (how many opportunities will we have?).
“A big thank you to everyone at BT Sport, both in front of the camera and behind. You’re one hell of a team. It’s been a joy working with you. Well played.”
A tweet from BT Sport said: “Thanks so much for everything, Gary! A legend of the game, and a legend of broadcasting. We’ll miss you, enjoy your away days!”
The former England player, who turned 60 in November, is among the BBC’s highest-paid presenters.
It was announced in September 2020 that he had signed a new five-year contract with the broadcaster, with a 23% pay cut – from £1.75 million to around £1.35 million.
He has four sons with his first wife Michelle Cockayne.