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SBD Global/January 28, 2013/People and Pop Culture
BBC Presenter Gary Lineker Talks About His Career, Charities, Escalating Salaries
Published January 28, 2013
FT: Do you want to carry on until you drop?
LINEKER: I will certainly try to carry on for as long as I am fit and healthy. I feel fortunate that because of what I have achieved in my professional life I am in a position where I can make a difference, either through raising funds or raising awareness. I enjoy what I do, so I don’t see it as onerous. It is a great thing to be paid to watch football, which is something that I would do anyway, even when retirement is forced upon me.
FT: What is your commitment to charity?
LINEKER: Probably not enough. I don’t think you can ever do enough really. One of my sons was treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital for leukaemia. I will always feel I have some debt towards the hospital for their brilliance, and the way they got him through it. George was just a couple of months old when he was taken ill, but he is 21 now and he is fine. I am the patron of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity Tick Tock Club, a major donor club. Members pledge £25,000 ($39,500) a year for three years, and we have a number of get-togethers a year that I host. Overall we have raised £20.6M ($32.6M) in the past six years. It’s amazing to see that the work has come to fruition. The facilities are so much better than they were a couple of years ago.
FT: Do you think Premier League footballers are overpaid?
LINEKER: Yes, footballers have always been overpaid. You cannot justify their salary to someone who does a real job, like a nurse or firefighter, but it is the entertainment business. Top musicians and actors don’t really deserve what they get either. Top players today are getting between £100,000 ($158,000) and £200,000 ($316,000) a week, which really is quite remarkable (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/25).