Gary Lineker has angered referees with his VAR no-show.
Match of the Day pundit Lineker has been outspoken on video referees as he even insisted the new technology is “sucking the life out of the game” after Tottenham had a goal ruled out at Leicester last week.
But it can be revealed that officials have become irritated at Lineker’s sniping and criticism because, unlike almost every other high-profile pundit, he has not attended one of the Premier League’s specially arranged VAR briefings.
The Premier League has put on more than 50 sessions and hosted more than 700 people at both their VAR headquarters at Stockley Park and even done some media sessions at the BBC at Media City in Manchester over the past four months.
Pundits, ex-players, journalists and TV and radio directors and producers have all been invited in and the likes of Danny Murphy, Alan Shearer and Jermaine Jenas have gone to the sessions to help be better informed and have a better understanding of VAR.
It has given journalists the lowdown on the process and decisions which is invaluable when covering games. But one of the most high-profile TV figures of all has not gone.
The Premier League told Mirror Sport they are still trying to get a date in the diary with Lineker but his filming schedule has so far prevented him from attending.
Lineker told this column he has not gone yet because “the dates haven’t worked” but said he will attend a VAR briefing in the future and did do a session with FIFA ahead of the World Cup.
Hudson-Odoi retains his image rights
Callum Hudson-Odoi signed a lucrative five year contract worth £120,000-a-week at Chelsea.
But one of England’s most exciting young talents has kept control of his own image rights meaning that anything he earns outside of the deal with Chelsea will be his.
Keane back in Sky studio with a bang
Roy Keane has signed with Sky for a limited number of appearances as a pundit but it is no surprise they are getting him straight back into the studio for Monday’s game with Arsenal which used to be a classic grudge match in his Manchester United days.
Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will be signing copies of “Wenger – The Inside Story of Arsenal Under Wenger” at a Legends of Football tribute dinner on October 7.
Wenger, who is set for a role with FIFA as first revealed in this column, used to joke about the book with yours truly that “I make you rich by you killing me.”
Sorry, Arsene, there is no big money in books.
The event is for music charity Nordoff Robbins. For full details visit: www.lofootball.co.uk