Alan Hansen takes BBC pay cut – Charles Sale

Hansen takes significant pay cut to stay on at the BBC

Football pundit Alan Hansen, whose 1.5million-a-year BBC contract has been widely criticised, is on the verge of agreeing a new deal at significantly reduced terms.

His current deal, which Tory MP Damian Collins described as ‘a lot of money that the BBC need to justify’, expires at the end of the season. The former Liverpool defender is understood to be negotiating his own renewal.

Hansen, whose contract works out at 40,000 per Match of the Day show, will not receive such an extravagant package in future, with BBC insiders saying he will be taking a ‘considerable’ pay cut. However the BBC Sport move to Manchester means Hansen now has an easy commute from his Southport home every week.

Pay cut: Hansen's salary has been criticised

Pay cut: Hansen's salary has been criticised

In contrast to the cuts-ravaged BBC – who are shedding 2,000 jobs to save 670m – securing Hansen’s services, ITV are not renewing the contracts of commentator Peter Drury or pundit Jim Beglin after Euro 2012.

The pair are the victims of ITV Sport having to make substantial production savings. Next season’s TV schedule of Tuesday Champions League and Thursday Europa League games allows them to operate with one staff commentary team led by Clive Tyldesley.

Arsenal board nowhere to be seen

The view that Arsene Wenger doesn’t get much back-up from the Arsenal hierarchy led by a largely-absentee American-based owner was reinforced by not a single director travelling to Swansea for the recent Premier League match.

Richard Carr, who left the main board in 2008 but still sits on the football club subsidiary, was the only senior club representative there. An Arsenal spokesman called the turn-out in Wales ‘unusual’.

Absent: Stan Kroenke (left) attends a press conference for the St. Louis Rams in Missouri last week

Absent: Stan Kroenke (left) attends a press conference for the St Louis Rams in Missouri last week

Owen chooses Cheltenham over Anfield

Michael Owen may be sidelined from the Manchester United team with a thigh injury. But the perception that he cares about his big horse racing interests as much as football will grow after he was on public view in a box at a Cheltenham meeting last Saturday while United were losing their FA Cup game at Liverpool.

Adidas standing by Andy

Adidas, who chose to supply Andy Murray’s clothing in preference to world No 1 Novak Djokovic two years ago – since when the Serb has won four grand slams – are still trying to justify their decision by saying Murray potentially will shift more kit, especially in the UK market.

Fabio’s tired old excuse

Fabio Capello is reported to have had a frank exchange with two English managers over the dismal 2010 World Cup performance.

Capello, doing a Q&A at a UEFA Pro License course, blamed England’s showing on his squad being worn out by the domestic campaign. Blood tests in the build-up indicated fatigue.

Abject display: Capello (left) blames England's World Cup exit on tiredness

Abject display: Capello (left) blames England's World Cup exit on tiredness

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But Peter Reid, who left Plymouth last September, countered: ‘I’m not having that,’ claiming the players couldn’t have been tired. Barnet’s Lawrie Sanchez backed him, saying winners Spain played more football that season.

Capello is said to have enjoyed the debate rather than taking umbrage. He regards Reid, who did coaching studies at AC Milan under Capello, as a friend.

Meanwhile, there was some surprise at Edinburgh’s uber-exclusive Archerfield golf club yesterday morning that Capello’s Scottish counterpart Craig Levein could have the luxury of fitting in a round at the start of the working week.

However the belief within the Scottish FA is that Levein works harder than most international managers. He was watching games on both days over the weekend and is developing a long-term performance strategy for Scottish football as well as mentoring club managers, on top of his international team duties.

MCC infighting goes on

The bitter MCC infighting over their aborted 400m Lord’s renovation now extends to messages allowed on the Lord’s website members forum.

A Times clarification has been posted claiming Christopher Martin-Jenkins’ report attacking supporters of the re-building plans did not intend to imply criticism of Sir John Major.

But MCC lawyers took down the article itself, which accused the Vision backers – who include Major – of behaving like batsmen who refuse to walk.

MCC say reproducing CMJ’s story infringed copyright but there was permission for the clarification.