If you happened to be a Conservative MP who supported Manchester United there could surely be few duties you'd relish more than being able to criticise the BBC for the wages it pays to a former Liverpool player. So step forward Manchester United fan and Conservative MP for Folkestone in Kent, Damian Collins who, according to the Sunday Telegraph*, has singled out Alan Hansen's reported £1.5m per year pay deal from the BBC:
"It is a lot of money for Alan Hansen, and the BBC needs to justify such large amounts at a time when every pound they spend is being scrutinised..."
If Hansen's salary, which the Mail reported back in July, is correct then it is indeed a sizeable wage. It should be pointed out however that Hansen is not the highest paid presenter at the BBC - or even the highest paid member of the Match Of The Day team - though I'm sure Collins had his reasons for singling him out.
One of Hansen's other employers of course is the Daily Telegraph and as a result of the article appearing on its website one of the paper's star columnists has been the subject of a 'lively' discussion in the comments. Beneath the article on the Telegraph's website, Hansen is branded an "overpaid muppet", "utterly boring", "a waste of money" and "irrelevant" to quote just some of the less defamatory complaints from Telegraph readers.
*UPDATE: It seems the Telegraph has subsequently thought better of this story. Both the story and the comments posted beneath it appear now to have been deleted from the Telegraph's website. However, the Daily Mail has also run with the story, citing the Sunday Telegraph as the source of Collins' quotes.