How ex-footballer Gary Lineker has amassed a £26m fortune
Does the BBC need Gary Lineker more than he needs them? How ex-footballer has amassed £26m fortune with podcasts, broadcasting and advertising deals (just don’t mention the two divorces and HMRC tax row)
Gary Lineker earns £1.36-million-a-year from the BBC for Match of the Day, Sports Personality of the Year and other shows in a near three-decade broadcasting career that has helped him build a £26million nest egg.
The 62-year-old is the highest-paid ‘talent’ at the Corporation but as the Beeb considers standing by him yet again over his highly-political tweets, experts are pondering if another reprieve is a clear sign they need him much more than he needs them.
The footballer turned broadcaster has amassed much of his fortune since starting at the BBC in the mid-1990s – but insists he does not fear leaving over the row where he compared Tory policy on migrants in boats to Nazi Germany.
And MailOnline can reveal that he has close to ten other income streams with four years until the twice-married father-of-four hits retirement age – although a legal battle with HMRC over a £4.9million tax bill looms large in 2023.
Lineker has four sons with his first wife, Michelle: Angus, 24, Tobias, 26, Harry, 28, and the eldest George, who is 30. He divorced from his second wife, Danielle Bux, six years ago. He said recently ‘I’ve been married twice. I’ve got four kids. That’s an expensive business’.
Gary Lineker has made a fortune since joining the BBC after a glittering football career – but his podcast business, including his own Match of the Day audio show, is also booming
He also promotes his own range of sunglasses and glasses, which he handpicks, for high street chain Vision Express
Gary Lineker is also an investor in an insurance company which aims to reduce premiums for car and van drivers, as long as their driving is tracked
Apart from his high-profile presenting roles, he features in big-brand television advertising campaigns but also runs a TV production company – Goalhanger Films – which he uses to sell even more of his work to the BBC.
Lineker’s playing the BBC for fools: Tory MPs slam presenter for ‘thumbing his nose’ at the corporation as pressure grows on TV bosses to end ‘farce’
And it is Goalhanger’s burgeoning podcast business that is predicted to make him even richer. His first shows were recorded at the kitchen table of his £4.8m Victorian property in Barnes, south west London. He is also believed to own a property in Surrey where he has hosted at least two refugees.
The Goalhanger stable also includes The Rest Is Politics, hosted by Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart, and The Rest Is History, presented by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook – the latter widely considered as one of the UK’s best podcasts.
Gary’s son Harry works for his dad’s business, which has a growing list of hits including, you guessed it, Gary’s own Match of the Day: Top Ten show with Alan Shearer, Micah Richards, Ian Wright and others. Eldest son George is co-founder of Your Business Number, Angus is a business development manager and Tobias is a DJ.
Last year Lineker hailed the ‘incredible growth’ of the podcast arm, which is now signed up with global entertainment agency WME, even admitting that he could leave the BBC to work on it full time.
He has three years left on his lucrative BBC deal – but with calls for him to be sacked over his tweets, it may not hit him that hard financially he moved on.
He told The New Statesman last year when asked if he might work on Goalhanger full time: ‘Maybe. Who knows? Life’s thrown many things at me. And I’m 61. We don’t really know what the boundaries are in terms of growth. But it’s a very, very good business’.
Gary Lineker married his first wife Michelle in 1986 but they later divorced. He later married Danielle Bux but they divorced in 2016
Gary with his four lookalike sons in 2013: Harry, Angus, George and Tobias (left to right)
Mr Lineker is currently appealing in the courts after HMRC pursued him for £4.9million under IR35 legislation – rules designed to stop contractors working as ‘disguised employees’.
The tax man believes that Lineker should be treated as an employee by the BBC because he does so much regular work for them, meaning the star should pay more to the treasury.
Mr Lineker disagrees. Last month a preliminary hearing in London was told Lineker has now paid the income tax bill in full but he is appealing.
HMRC pursued him for the sum that it claimed should have been paid on income received between 2013 and 2018.
Lineker insists all taxes were paid on the income through a partnership set up in 2012 with his ex-wife Danielle Bux and is appealing against the demand.
The presenter is expected to argue that his partnership Gary Lineker Media (GLM) is required to funnel his income through because of the wide variety of work he does.
HMRC will claim his extensive work for BT Sport and the BBC means he should be classed as an employee for tax purposes, because he agrees to do a minimum number of games and shows for the broadcaster.
One of his first TV jobs away from football was as the face of Walkers crisps, and the Leicester-born star last year signed a new three-year deal with the firm – the snacks are made in his home city.
The deal sees him feature in television advert campaigns and on social media. He has been working with the brand for more than 27 years, first teaming up with Walkers in 1994, and has now appeared in 150 adverts.
Lineker is also an investor in an insurance company which aims to reduce premiums for drivers between the ages of 17 and 25.
Ticker sends a box to the driver which they then place on their windscreen.
The gadget pairs to a phone via bluetooth, sending the driver’s behaviour on the road to the Ticker app, with the idea that the information can be used to provide cheaper insurance for safer young motorists.
Described as the future of car insurance, the company is also backed by former Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell.
Gary Lineker has been working with the brand for 27 years, first teaming up with Walkers in 1994, and has now appeared in 150 adverts
In 2019, along with his friend and fellow broadcaster Danny Baker, Lineker published a book full of football anecdotes called Behind Closed Doors
He is also a director of ‘GCGL Properties Ltd’ – described on Companies House as a ‘development of building projects’ business.
As part of Lineker’s £1.36 million deal with the Beeb, he presents Match Of The Day and other big sporting events. He is also one of the hosts of the Sports Personality of the Year event.
Few BBC viewers will know that some of the programmes Lineker hosts are not part of his deal with the broadcaster but shows he sells to them through his production company.
In 2020 he hosted and made Football, Prince William And Our Mental Health through Goalhanger Films. He has made others for the Corporation with stars including Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney, and featuring his beloved Leicester City.
He also produces podcasts for the BBC. He recently announced a show he is making about tennis superstar Serena Williams, which he has sold to Amazon.
He made a reputed £3 million from investing in Ingenie, a car insurance firm which was sold in 2014
He also works works for LaLiga TV. Lineker quit one big-money deal at BT Sport for another – transferring to La Liga to present football matches from the top Spanish division, live from Barcelona.
Lineker still speaks Spanish after his time playing for the Catalan giants and he signed a multi-year contract with LaLigaTV.
Speaking of the job, he said he was ‘thrilled’, adding: ‘I have fond memories of my time playing in Spain and very much look forward to sharing the excitement of La Liga with viewers in the UK and elsewhere.’
There are also books.
In 2019, along with his friend and fellow broadcaster Danny Baker, Lineker published a book full of football anecdotes called Behind Closed Doors.
A bestseller, it was culled from a podcast the pair presented and reveals jaw-dropping stories from the dressing room and open-top bus ceremonies, apparently ‘all served up with lashings of wit and ribald humour.’
As one of television’s most prominent spectacle-wearers, it was only a matter of time before Lineker cashed in on them.
He promotes his own range of sunglasses and glasses, which he handpicks, for high street chain Vision Express.
The firm says in the ‘edit’, Lineker ‘pays homage to the various fashion eras and styles which have influenced him throughout his life, specifically Italian and Mediterranean styles.’
And he’s hoping to score with the public in terms of pricing – Lineker spectacle frames cost from £99 and sunglasses are from £39.
Lineker is renowned for his snappy suits when presenting his TV shows, which was clearly noticed by upmarket shirt brand TM Lewin, who then signed him up to promote the label.
He appeared on its website where he advertised the budget range, starting at £25.
He also used to encourage his millions of social media followers to shop at TM Lewin stores before the business went online only.
In 2021 it was announced that Lineker would be straddling the BBC and ITV after being lured by the latter to host a new gameshow, named Sitting On A Fortune.
In the show contestants can win up to £100,000 and it seems the presenter has hit the jackpot too.
It’s not known how much he is being paid but TV insiders suggest ‘he won’t be doing it for peanuts’.
Lineker said: ‘I am delighted to be hosting what I think and hope will be a show that people love, full of tension with high stakes and bags of drama from start to finish – everything a great game show should be.’
A second series is billed to return in 2023.
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