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Footballers don't deserve big wages, says Gary Lineker

February 18, 2012 - London

Former England Football Team captain Gary Lineker has criticised footballers' enormous wages - and said they shouldn't be paid more than nurses or teachers.

The 'Match of the Day' star, who earns 2 million pounds a year, argued it was impossible to justify Premier League salaries when many earn more in a week than key workers do in a year.

He reckons most players secretly felt the same but would never admit it.

A Premier League player earns an average 780,000 pounds whereas a nurse takes home 23,500 pounds and a teacher 30,000 pounds.

"When I was playing, the gap in wages between the players and the fans wasn't as big but you can never justify players' wages - even in my day - and I would never try to," the Mirror quoted him as saying.

"We are in the entertainment business and we all know if you are top of the tree you get the big money.

"Those of us who have been in it are the fortunate ones but we understand that we probably don't deserve it as much as the nurses or teachers.

"No one is going to come out and say in public 'I don't deserve the money'," he claimed.

Lineker, who married 32-year-old Danielle in 2009, fronts 'Match of the Day' and 'Sports Personality of the Year' for the BBC. He is also due to host the Beeb's Olympic coverage this summer.

Last month MoTD co-host Alan Hansen agreed to take a pay cut when his contract was renewed - and Lineker admitted he may have to do the same.

"They might not even want me in two years," he added.


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