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How much are football pundits paid?

The punditry circuit was once sneered at by Roy Keane, but it remains a viable and lucrative career path for many ex-professionals

The transition from professional footballer to professional football pundit is a well worn path and it can certainly be a lucrative venture if done well.

Fans love to hear the analysis of ex-players and managers about the modern game and there is no shortage of vocal characters who have crossed over into the realm of the critic.

Whether it is the inevitable exasperation of Roy Keane and Graeme Souness, the interactive graphics of Gary Neville or the pun-laden presenting of Gary Lineker, it provides some entertainment.

So, how much are pundits paid for espousing their views in the television studio? Goal takes a look.

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How much are football pundits paid?

There is no set salary for a football pundit, so payment can be negotiated between a network and an individual.

A TV pundit can earn anywhere between hundreds of thousands to millions a year for giving their opinions. The level of their salary depends on a variety of factors, such as reputation, profile, seniority and ability.

It can be difficult to say exactly how much a particular pundit is paid, but, in the UK, we do know for sure how much BBC pundits are paid because the public broadcaster publishes the figures.

Gary Lineker is the long-standing presenter of BBC’s famous Match of the Day Premier League highlights programme and earns £1.35 million ($1.8m) a year for his trouble.

The former England and Barcelona striker signed a new five-year contract with the network in 2020, which actually involved a 23 per cent reduction on his previous terms.

He had previously been on a salary of £1.75 million a year, so the pay cut amounts to £400,000 less.

Outside of Lineker, Alan Shearer is the highest-paid Match of the Day pundit on an annual salary of £395,000 ($550k) – down £50,000 from the previous rate of £445,000 a year.

Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas is paid between £200,000 and £205,000 ($278k – $285k), while ex-Arsenal forward Ian Wright’s most recent MOTD salary stood at just under £150,000 ($210k) a year.

Rank Pundit Annual salary (2020)
1 Gary Lineker £1.35m
2 Alan Shearer £395,000
3 Jermaine Jenas £200,000 – £205,000
4 Ian Wright £150,000

*Table shows BBC Match of the Day pundits only

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However, while those figures are not to be sniffed at, the biggest paychecks appear to be handed out to those working for the pay-TV networks such as Sky Sports and BT Sport, which boast lucrative contracts for broadcasting the Premier League and Champions League among other competitions.

Manchester United-Liverpool double-act Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher earn around £1 million each a year for their contributions as pundits on Sky Sports, according to the Daily Express.

Before he moved into management, former Arsenal and France star Thierry Henry was one of the highest-paid pundits on TV, with the Daily Mail reporting that he was on a £4 million-a-year ($5.5m) deal.

Of course, like anything in business, not all networks work in the same way and the pay of a pundit can vary wildly, particularly for those who work on a freelance basis.

While some pundits may work on pro-rata contracts, meaning they are paid in full regardless of how many appearances they make, others will be paid per appearance.

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