Graeme Souness insists ‘I wouldn’t have walked out on Match of the Day’

Graeme Souness has hit out at Gary Lineker and his Match of the Day colleagues over the BBC suspension controversy back in March.

Lineker was temporarily removed from the show after sparking outrage by likening language in the Conservative Party's asylum policy announcement to that used by the Nazis, breaking the Beeb's political impartiality rules.

After the announcement, Match of the Day regulars Ian Wright and Alan Shearer said they would be boycotting the broadcast in a show of solidarity – a pledge that was later replicated by several of their BBC colleagues.

READ MORE: Gary Lineker admits he cried at Alan Shearer and Ian Wright's support after MOTD axe

Speaking to talkSPORT's Simon Jordan on the Up Front With Simon Jordan Podcast, Souness insisted he wouldn't have joined the walk-out if he worked for Match of the Day and said he thought Lineker was out of line for breaking the rules of his contract.

"Nah, if it would have been me I wouldn't have [walked out]," the former Scotland international said. "It wasn't Gary's first time upsetting people.

"When you take the BBC shilling you've got to be very careful what you say politically… freedom of speech is something that doesn't apply if you're an employee of the BBC. You have to be very careful."

Would you have walked out in solidarity with Gary Lineker? Let us know in the comments section below.

Jordan agreed, insisting the individuals who boycotted the show should have been fired.

A few days after the suspension – and a bizarre, presenterless Match of the Day broadcast – Lineker was reinstated by the BBC who announced they'd be reviewing their impartiality guidelines.

An emotional Souness revealed he was leaving Sky Sports after more than 15 years working as one of their top pundits on Sunday.

He made the announcement after his former side Liverpool's 4-3 win over Tottenham, telling colleagues live on air: "I'll miss you all. I have to say … it's just been the most fantastic time for me … I think I owe a hundred apologies for saying some harsh things [over the years]. But it's been great guys, it really has."


  • Graeme Souness fights back tears with Sky Sports pundit standing down from role

  • Matt Le Tissier brands Ian Wright's solidarity with Lineker as 'completely contradictory'

  • Alan Shearer and Ian Wright avoid punishment by BBC for Match of the Day boycott

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