ENTERTAINMENT
19/03/2018 09:59 GMT | Updated 19/03/2018 10:55 GMT

Martina Navratilova Claims She Was Paid 10x Less Than John McEnroe For BBC's Wimbledon Coverage

'I’m not happy. It’s shocking. It’s still the good old boys network.'

The BBC pay gay row has hit Wimbledon, after former champion Martina Navratilova claimed John McEnroe earned 10 times more than her for their commentating work. 

Navratilova has told the BBC’s ‘Panorama’ she was paid around £15,000 for commentating the annual tennis tournament, while her male counterpart took home over £150,000.

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Martina Navratilova

McEnroe’s salary was revealed when the BBC published a list of their highest earning stars last year, and he was placed in the £150,000 - £199,999 category. 

Speaking on the documentary, which airs on Monday (18 March) night, Navratilova said: “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 claimed bosses had told her she was getting paid a comparable amount to men doing the same job as her.

“We were not told the truth, that’s for sure,” she said. “I’m not happy... It’s shocking... It’s still the good old boys network.”

She added: “The bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women’s voices.”

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John McEnroe 

BBC Sport seemingly stood by the pay disparity between the two stars, but insisted it had nothing to do with gender.

“John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John’s role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment,” they told ‘Panorama’ in a statement. 

“They are simply not comparable. John’s pay reflects all of this, gender isn’t a factor.”

A spokesperson added: “Along with Sue Barker, John is regarded as the face of our Wimbledon coverage. He is a defining voice within the BBC’s coverage. He is widely considered to be the best expert/commentator in the sport, highly valued by our audiences and his contract means he cannot work for another UK broadcaster without our permission. His pay reflects all of this – gender isn’t a factor.”

‘Panorama’ estimated McEnroe appeared around 30 times for the BBC at Wimbledon in 2017, compared to Navratilova’s 10 appearances.

Last year, the BBC revealed which of its stars earned more than £150,000 between 2016-17 for working on BBC programmes.

The organisation immediately came under fire as the figures showed a significant gender pay gap of 9.3%.

It prompted some of the BBC’s most high-profile female personalities to write an open letter to the director general, Tony Hall.

As a result, the BBC held a pay review, the results of which were revealed in January this year, saying there was no evidence of gender bias in decision making behind wages.

Last week, it was revealed women working at ITN are paid 19.6% less than male employees

This means the gender pay gap at the TV company, which produces ITV News, Channel 4 News, 5 News and ITN Productions, is almost twice that at the BBC.

‘Panorama: Britain’s Equal Pay Scandal’ airs on Monday at 7.30pm on BBC One.