Alan Hansen on MotD 'lap of honour', as Thierry Henry waits

BBC pundit is still attracting headlines during his final few months with the corporation

LAST UPDATED AT 13:19 ON Thu 19 Dec 2013

BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen is on a "lap of honour" of the corporation in his final season and is able to "virtually pick and choose when he appears" on screens, it has been claimed. And at present he is earning around £50,000 an appearance on the show.

According to Daily Mail gossip columnist Charles Sale, Hansen's rare sightings on MotD "are the subject of much talk within the Beeb".

He points out that the pundit, who is said to be on a £1m-a-year contract, has made only ten appearances on the analysts' sofa so far this season and if he carries on at that rate for the rest of the season, will have been paid £50,000 a time for delivering his verdict on the action.

Hansen will leave the BBC after next summer's world cup, after more than two decades of service. But the man who famously announced "You can't win anything with kids" in 1996, the season a youthful Manchester United team won the title, will not be missed by everyone.

"Money for old rope seems to be about right regarding Auntie Beeb's willingness to unearth money for former football players," opines Eurosport's Early Doors blog. "All we can say is well done Alan. Nice work if you can get it."

However, things could be about to take a turn for better for MotD's devoted legion of critics. In the wake of the departure of Hansen, and some equally unpopular pundits including Mark Lawrenson, the BBC is widening its net.

On Saturday it gave a debut to former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry who made an instant impact. Not only did he look "cool" his "analysis was straightforward, and to the point", purrs the Mail. At times he was brief and "too conversational", but the overall verdict? "Formidable". · 

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