Great Britain

BT Sport set for war with pundits as they consider legal action over loss of pay during coronavirus crisis

BT SPORT could be set for a legal row with their own pundits as a dispute over a loss of pay caused by the coronavirus threatens to turn nasty.

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand and former Premier League stars Robbie Savage and Jermaine Jenas are some of the highest-profile names employed by the channel.

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They are in danger of being out of pocket over the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and suspension of the football season.

Now the Daily Mail claim that ten days of talks aimed at “resolving the issue” between pundits and their employers have failed to produce a compromise.

And today’s report states “a number of those most affected by the cutbacks have sought legal advice” ahead of the next set of negotiations.

The majority of the pundits are on pro-rata contracts and could potentially not be paid for the remainder of their deals as there are no live matches.

It’s believed they are usually paid in full at the end of the season, providing they were free to appear, even if they did not make their allotted number of on-screen appearances.

But it has been reported BT Sport have told their array of pundits they do not plan to do that this year due to the shortened live schedule.

Premier League chiefs are determined to eventually restart the season and that return of live broadcasts would provide Ferdinand and Co. the chance to earn more.

However, if the campaign is resumed then fixtures are likely to be squeezed into a shortened period, potentially impacting the number of live shows.

Meanwhile, BT Sport have been filming extra programming in the absence of live match action.

That includes it’s Saturday Early Kick Off show, with pundits also recording from their homes in recent weeks.

And they could devise football-specific summer programming to provide their expert punditry team with an opportunity to earn more and make up any financial shortfalls.

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