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British Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave blasts Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson over earnings

08:48 07 August 2012

At Odds: Sir Steve Redgrave (left) and Jeremy Clarkson (right). Photo credit: PA Wire

At Odds: Sir Steve Redgrave (left) and Jeremy Clarkson (right). Photo credit: PA Wire

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been criticised for his earnings by five-times Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave.

The controversial 52-year-old makes more than £3million, mainly from the commercial exploitation of the popular car show, rather than the licence fee.

“It frustrates me more than Premier League footballers’ wages. But I’m not going to get drawn into that,” Redgrave told the Radio Times.

The British rowing legend, has a history with Clarkson and co after his wife conspired with Top Gear presenters to destroy his garden for charity in 2008.

“They raised a lot of money for Sports Relief and my garden has been put back into an even better state than it was,” he added.

“But I didn’t speak to my wife for three months.”

Sir Steve was delighted that Britain considers that the standards have improved.

“We used to think that winning about five golds each Games was acceptable.

“We thought it was a good result. But we don’t accept that any more. We used to get a lot of silvers, but since the Lottery funding has come in, those athletes are now providing the results.

“Staging the Games has also made a huge difference. No government wants to preside over a Games in which the home nation fails, so a lot of money has gone in.”

Sir Steve hinted that he’d have earned more recognition for his five Olympic titles, achieved in five Games, had he played football.

“If I’d achieved what I’ve achieved in football, what would have happened? David Beckham has legendary status around the world. He’s been pretty successful with Manchester United and Madrid. But no world titles.

“It does depend on what sport you’re involved in. My point... (is) a factual one rather than a jealousy thing.”

He also branded the US system of having a medal table decided by the volume of medals won, rather than the most gold medals, “ridiculous”.

“Fifty bronzes don’t equal one gold,” he said.

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