Martina Navratilova hits out at BBC after learning John McEnroe's pay is 10 times more

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Tennis legend Martina Navratilova has hit out at the BBC after discovering that fellow Wimbledon pundit John McEnroe is paid at least 10 times more than her.

McEnroe’s pay packet, of £150,000 to £199,999, was revealed in a list of the BBC’s top-paid talent last summer.

Navratilova, 61, told Panorama that she is paid around £15,000 by the BBC for her commentator role at Wimbledon.

“It was a shock because John McEnroe makes at least £150,000… I get about £15,000 for Wimbledon and unless John McEnroe’s doing a whole bunch of stuff outside of Wimbledon he’s getting at least 10 times as much money”, she said.

Navratilova said that she was told she was getting paid a comparable amount to men doing the same job as her, adding: “We were not told the truth, that’s for sure….

“(I’m) not happy… It’s shocking… It’s still the good old boys network…. The bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women’s voices.”

Navratilova, who was crowned Wimbledon ladies’ champion nine times, said that her agent will ask for more money in future.

BBC Sport told Panorama that “John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John’s role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment,” adding: “They are simply not comparable. John’s pay reflects all of this, gender isn’t a factor.”

John Mcenroe

Panorama said it estimated that McEnroe, 59, who was crowned Wimbledon champion three times, appeared around 30 times for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, compared to Navratilova’s 10 appearances.

Meanwhile, former China editor Carrie Gracie, who resigned from her role in protest at inequalities and now works for the BBC in London, said she could leave the corporation.

“I haven’t made a sacrifice… I may still have to leave the BBC,” she said.

And former BBC news presenter Maxine Mawhinney said she is considering bringing a case against the broadcaster over pay.

She had just left the BBC after 20 years when the pay list was published last summer.

She told Panorama: “I do know that I have sat beside men on TV doing the same job, probably (with) the same experience or I might have been even more experienced, and I know they were earning more than me.”

Asked if she would take a case against the BBC over equal pay, she said: “If I find that I was entitled to have been paid at a different rate during the time I was there of course I would.”

Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, told Panorama: “We don’t think we have acted illegally in regard to equal pay.

“That doesn’t mean, however, there won’t be instances and cases where there is inequality and we need to address those.”

The gender pay gap has been in the headlines since the salaries of top BBC talent were revealed.

Radio 2’s Chris Evans topped the list on more than £2 million, while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.

Claudia Winkleman

A review commissioned by the BBC found a 6.8% gender pay gap – but “no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making”.

Its conclusions were criticised by BBC Women, a group that includes presenters such as Jane Garvey, Mishal Husain and Victoria Derbyshire.

Conservative MP Damian Collins told Panorama that talent salaries paid through BBC Studios – the BBC’s commercial arm which operates under different rules – should not be kept under wraps.

“I think the way to resolve it is to make those salaries public – be they being paid directly by the BBC or through a production company.

“If the BBC refuse to do that and they can… because the charter doesn’t require them, I think we should ask the National Audit Office to go in and to audit this and to report back to Parliament,” he said.

Unsworth rejected the idea saying: “The BBC is in a big fight here for the best ideas, the best talent. If we’re going to really make it difficult for the independents to come and work for the BBC, by subjecting all the people who work on it to the same level of scrutiny that our existing stars are, then I don’t think that we’re going to be producing the best programmes.”

It recently emerged Claire Foy earned less than Matt Smith for Netflix drama The Crown, despite Foy starring as the Queen.

Panorama: Britain’s Equal Pay Scandal, airs today at 7.30pm on BBC1.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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The longest tennis match in history - John Isner beats Nicolas Mahut over three days in Wimbledon classic

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70-68! A fifth set scoreline we'll probably never see again.

Three days.

11 hours.

Five minutes.

Yes, that’s right – a tennis match lasted that long.

Back in the first round of Wimbledon in 2010, big-server John Isner overcome gutsy baseliner Nicolas Mahut in a five-set thriller, with the decider stretching to an incredible 70-68 scoreline.

The match began on the famous Court 18 on Tuesday June 22 at 6:13pm, but due to fading light, play was suspended at two sets apiece before the start of the fifth at 9.07pm.

The following day, play resumed, at 2:05pm – with the record for the longest match being broken a few hours later at 5:45pm. Yet, still, the American-France duel couldn’t be settled as play was called off once again due to the ailing sun, at 9:09pm, with the final set tied at 59 games all.

That meant the drama extended to Thursday, June 24, at 3:40pm – with Isner finally breaking serve and then holding to win at 4:47pm (11 hours, five minutes).

Incredibly, the final set lasted eight hours, eleven minutes, while numerous other records were broken, such as a record 183 games being played in total and each player rattling down over a 100 aces.

It went down in the history books as the “eventual match”, with the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club commemorating the encounter with a plaque beside the court.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28: A Wimbledon official points out the plague that is on the outside of Court 18 to commemorate the longest match which was between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010 on day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Simply an epic: The commemorative plaque at SW19.

Octo Finissimo Automatic A Third World Record for Bulgari

Bulgari is once again the spotlight, proudly presenting its third successive world record.

The Octo Finissimo Automatic is the slimmest ultra-thin self-winding watch on the market to date.

After introducing its Tourbillon in 2014 and the Minute Repeater in 2016, the Maison unveils its new creation featuring a total thickness of just 5.15mm, while its self-winding movement is just 2.23mm thick for a 40mm diameter.

The iconic Octo is once again pushing the boundaries of watchmaking feasibility.

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Wimbledon: Marin Cilic and coach Jonas Bjorkman ready to leave 'devastating' final loss behind

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Marin Cilic

A bad blister prevented Marin Cilic from giving his best performance in the Wimbledon final on Sunday against Roger Federer but both the Croatian and his team believe he can walk away with pride from what has been his best ever two weeks at the All England Club.

The 2014 US Open champion broke into tears during one of the changeovers, but it wasn’t the physical pain that got to him. It was the emotional toll of the situation, of not being able to step up and compete to the best of his ability in a dream Wimbledon final against the best man to have ever taken part in the Championships.

“It’s heartbreaking when you see someone you work for, and you know how dedicated they are and I also know what it means for him to achieve his dreams and goals, and winning here is one of them. Not being able to play the way he wanted was obviously tough to watch but we’re very proud. He played through the pain and gave Roger a nicer win,” said Cilic’s coach Jonas Bjorkman after the match.

“He’s normally taking a lot of pain so I can’t imagine how painful it was.”

Bjorkman, who teamed up with Cilic after Wimbledon last year, has witnessed his 28-year-old charge enjoy a great three months this season, through the clay swing, where he won the Istanbul title, and the grass, where he was runner-up in Queen’s and SW19.

It had been three years since Cilic last reached a Grand Slam final and this was his first at Wimbledon.

Despite the tournament in ending for Cilic in pain, does Bjorkman feel things have finally kicked into gear again for the tall Croatian?

“Absolutely! I think it’s no doubt, I hope, he will regroup and feel that he’s back, contending for another Slam. I think he’s in his prime time.

“He’s playing really good tennis at the moment, he’s got a lot of good years ahead of him and it’s no doubt that he has the potential of winning more. That’s his goal and we’re going to do everything we can in the team to help as much as we can to get him to achieve his dreams and goals.”

Marin Cilic is given treatment during the final against Roger Federer.

Marin Cilic is given treatment during the final against Roger Federer.

The Swedish coach added: “Since the Monaco tournament, he’s been playing great tennis, very consistent, which we’re really pleased with, because that’s been maybe a bit more up and down before, so we’ll try to continue in that way and in the same style heading into the hard-court swing.”

Cilic described to the media after the final how he felt while sitting at his bench, crying, while the medical team attended to him.

“Obviously was very tough emotionally because I know how much I went through last few months in preparation with everything. It was also tough because of my own team. They did so much for me. I just felt it was really bad luck,” the world No6 said.

“It was just a feeling that I knew that I cannot give my best on the court, that I cannot give my best game and my best tennis, especially at this stage of my career, at such a big match. It was very, very difficult to deal with it. You know, that was the only thing. But otherwise it didn’t hurt so much that it was putting me in tears. It was just that feeling that I wasn’t able to give the best.”

Bjorkman suggested Cilic would need a few days to regroup, but from the sounds of it, he is ready to put this painful experience behind him and look ahead.

“I’m very straightforward. I know that these last two weeks have been great tennis from me. My level was on a position where it hasn’t been before on grass, so I’m extremely satisfied with that. Extremely happy. This will give me much more confidence, much more strength for the rest of the year,” said Cilic.

“I know that my level can even go higher, so that is something that I’m looking forward to. That’s something which is definitely making me more happy.

“With that loss today, obviously it’s a sad one, it’s a devastating one, but I’m still very proud and thankful for all my team that was helping me to get here.”

At 35, Federer became the oldest man to win a Wimbledon singles title and having won two majors already this season, following a six-month injury hiatus, the world has been marveling at the Swiss’ achievements.

Cilic is no exception, as he hailed his opponent’s longevity, and will to continuously improve.
Bjorkman, who as a player lost to Federer in the 2006 Wimbledon semi-finals, says the Swiss star is “unique in many ways” but also believes there’s been too much emphasis on his age.

“I think everyone is a bit surprised with the age and I think now, if you look to other sports it’s not that unique in a way. I’m not saying I’m like him, but I was 36 and I played singles and doubles, I played a lot of matches,” said Bjorkman.

“The body is fine, ice hockey, soccer… you have so many who can actually go through with that age. I think in tennis we’re so focused on it. I got asked if I should retire when I was 30+, because back in the day everyone stopped earlier. But if you look at the knowledge we have about rehab and training in all sports now, age is only a number.

“Then I think Roger spends less energy out there, he’s unique in many ways which also makes it easier for him maybe compared to some others who have to work harder on the points. His movement is natural. I think we focus a lot on the numbers.”

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