Jermaine Jenas is the bookies’ favourites to become the new Match of the Day host, after Gary Lineker was taken off air by the BBC.
Lineker will not present Match of the Day this weekend after the BBC decided his recent tweet comparing the Government’s migration plans to Nazi Germany breached impartiality rules.
The corporation said Lineker would ‘step back’ from presenting the programme until he and his bosses had reached an ‘agreed and clear position’ on his use of social media.
Following Lineker’s departure, bookmakers have drafted up the odds for the next host and there are a number of current BBC pundits leading the way.
Former Newcastle star Jenas has odds of 6/4, making him the frontrunner to take over from Lineker.
Jermaine Jenas (pictured) has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Gary Lineker as the host of Match of the Day
Alan Shearer (left) and Alex Scott (right) had been candidates to replace Lineker before they each wrote a statement on social media, ruling them out the running
Gary Lineker will step back from presenting Match of the Day pending further discussions with his bosses, the BBC announced today
BBC pundits Mark Chapman and Gabby Logan follow on from Jenas and boast odds of 10/1 and 20/1 respectively.
Alan Shearer had also been one of the leading candidates for the role before ruling himself out with a tweet on Friday night. ‘I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night’, he wrote.
Shortly after Shearer’s tweet, his BBC co-pundit Alex Scott took to social media to also announce that she would not appear on the show. She wrote ‘FYI…’ and attached a GIF that said ‘Nah! Not me.’
Fellow football pundit Ian Wright also tweeted that he would also shun presenting Match of the Day while the ban is in place, which ruled him out of the running.
‘MATCH OF THE DAY’ HOST ODDS
Jermaine Jenas 6/4
Mark Chapman 10/1
Gabby Logan 20/1
Micah Richards 200/1
Roy Keane 250/1
Jamie Carragher 250/1
Gary Neville 250/1
All odds courtesy of PaddyPower
That completes the list of likely options, with four other names being mentioned but remain unlikely to actually take the role.
Micah Richards, who does regularly appear on the programme but also features on Sky Sports and CBS Sports, has odds of 200/1.
His Sky Sports punditry colleagues – Roy Keane, Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville – all have odds of 250/1 to take the role.
Upon the news of a Match of the Day without Lineker at the helm, a BBC spokesmen 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.’
The BBC’s highest paid star sparked a huge political row this week after comparing the language used to launch a new government crackdown on migrants arriving across the Channel in small boats to 1930s Germany.
The Match of the Day host, 62, shared online a video of Suella Braverman announcing details of her new Illegal Migration Bill with the comment, ‘Good heavens, this is beyond awful’.
He then used his Twitter account, with 8.6million followers, to describe the measures to tackle the migrant crisis as ‘immeasurably cruel’.
When another user accused him of being ‘out of order’, the former England footballer, who has previously been rebuked for other anti-Tory comments, responded: ‘There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.
‘This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?’
Channel 5 News presenter Dan Walker revealed that he’d spoken to Lineker, who confirmed that he’d been told to ‘step down’ from the role.
Ian Wright will not be appearing on Match of the Day this weekend in support of Gary Lineker
Punditry duo Gary Neville (left) and Jamie Carragher (right) are also in the running for the role
Speaking on Channel 5 News, Walker said: ‘It’s one of those strange situations where I’m actually texting the man himself (Lineker) at the moment.
‘And I have asked Gary Lineker the question about whether he is stepping back or whether the BBC have told him to step back and I’ve told him that if he responds to me that I will read out that text on air.
‘There’s one word in there I can’t use, but he has said “No, they’ve told me I have to step back”.
‘So Gary Lineker wants to continue to present Match Of The Day and is not apologising for what he’s said but he’s said it’s a BBC decision to force him to not present the programme at the moment.’