'It wasn't fair!' Match of the Day address BBC row as Gary Lineker returns

Alan Shearer has issued a sincere apology to the staff that were impacted by the row which brought BBC’s sport coverage to a standstill last weekend.

After Gary Lineker was stood down from his position as Match of the Day host following his criticism of the Government’s immigration policy, the show was reduced to a 20-minute highlights programme which featured no punditry or commentators, while the iconic theme tune was also ditched.

A host of other big-name presenters, including Shearer, Alex Scott and Jermaine Jenas stood with Lineker and refused to fill in for the outspoken former player turned presenter.

After crisis talks with the BBC, Lineker was hastily reinstated and was back on screen on Saturday evening, fronting coverage of Manchester City’s FA Cup third round tie against Burnley along with Shearer and Micah Richards.

Before the trio began with the task of previewing the game, Shearer took the opportunity to say sorry to the staff who missed out financially after radio, TV and online output was impacted by what was effectively a mass walkout.

‘Alan, it’s great to be here.’ said Lineker, teeing up the former England No.9 to offer an apology.

‘Yeah it’s good,’ said Shearer. ‘I just need to clear up and wanted to say how upset we were [about] all the audiences who missed out on last weekend.

‘It was a really difficult situation for everyone concerned and through no fault of their own some really great people in TV and in radio were put in an impossible situation and that wasn’t fair. So it’s good to get back to some sort of normality and be talking about football again.’

‘Absolutely,’ said Lineker in response. ‘I echo those sentiments.’

More to follow…

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