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Gary Lineker's Agent Jon Holmes Responds To 'Sexism' Claims

Exclusive: 'Match Of The Day' star's manager speaks out, again.

20/07/2017 18:34 | Updated 21 July 2017

Gary Lineker’s agent has hit back at claims he was “sexist” for appearing to suggest female BBC stars weren’t paid as much as men because of “not as tough” women agents.

Jon Holmes said the outrage at his comments, reported by the Press Association on Thursday, was “bollocks”.

“I said women can be very tough agents,” he told HuffPost UK. “I said there may be a perception that some women are not as tough but I said some women can be very tough.”

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Sue Barker (left) is paid five times less than Lineker, according to the BBC 'rich list'

Speaking earlier in the day, Holmes appeared to suggest women stars preferred women agents - and that they were “not as tough”.

“I can only speak for sport but it is a gross failure for an agent if their clients are doing the same job [as men] on less money,” Holmes told the news service.

“The broadcaster is to blame too, they should pay them the same money.

“If you go on a negotiating course they will tell you there is no one way to negotiate.

Maybe women feel happier being represented by women and women are not as tough but I have found women very tough negotiators and vowed never to buy a house off a woman.

“I will say it’s better to lay your marker down, and as high as possible. The danger is they can’t afford it and run away.

“Maybe women feel happier being represented by women and women are not as tough but I have found women very tough negotiators and vowed never to buy a house off a woman.

“At the end of the day it’s up to people to negotiate and for the negotiators to push for what they are worth.”

Commentators seized on the quotes and criticised Holmes for apparent ‘sexism’.

Holmes comments came as the publication of a BBC ‘rich list’ of highest-paid stars revealed a startling gender pay gap at the public service broadcaster.

Speaking later on Thursday to HuffPost, Holmes said: “The reaction is of course that they’ve misinterpreted.

“What I said was that some women’s agents might not have been tough enough. Women’s agents can be men or women, can’t they?

“If women are underpaid they should look at who represents them.”

Sue Barker, the Beeb’s highest paid female sports presenter, is paid five times less than Lineker, according to the ‘rich list’.

Asked if he was hoping to secure new business from those female BBC stars revealed to be paid less than their male counterparts, Holmes said: “I’m not saying that.

“They have to take their own decisions. I’m not taking on any new clients.”

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