The Professional Footballers’ Association agrees that players must share the financial burden during the coronavirus pandemic. This is the case after Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged Premier League stars to take a pay cut.
Premier League and League Two clubs have already placed non-playing staff on furlough leave under the coronavirus job retention scheme of the government. However, there is increased pressure on players to accept wage cuts or deferrals.
The players’ union disclosed in a statement: “We fully accept that players will have to be flexible and share the financial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak to secure the long-term future of their club and indeed the wider game.
“Our advice going out to players at this point reflects that expectation.”
Meanwhile, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and Brighton manager Graham Potter have agreed to wage cuts in the last two days, including other senior staff at the aforementioned clubs. Players and management staff as Championship leaders Leeds have also agreed to defer wages.
The statement added: “We are aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff’s salaries. However, our current position is that – as businesses – if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should.
“The players we have spoken to recognise that the non-playing staff are a vital part of their club and they do not want to see club staff furloughed unfairly.
“Any use of the government’s support schemes without genuine financial need is detrimental to the wider society.”
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville took to Twitter to scold Hancock for his remarks: “I wish I was a player for 10 more mins. The PL players are more than likely working on a proposal to help clubs, communities and The NHS.
“It takes longer than 2 weeks to put together. Matt Hancock calling them out when he can’t get tests in place for NHS staff is a f@@@@@g cheek!”
Regardless, Premier League clubs will gather via a conference call for a shareholders’ meeting on Friday. They’re expected to receive a briefing on discussions between the league, the English Football League and the PFA.