PL players claim clubs could offer 'far more' in coronavirus crisis

Premier League stars break their silence on the pay-cut row to SLAM Matt Hancock and league bosses as they say 30 per cent cut would see £200m in tax lost… and claim football’s £20m NHS donation ‘could be more’

  • PFA have issued statement calling for clubs to do more amid coronavirus crisis
  • Premier League proposed £20m donation plus measures including wage cut 
  • Statement claimed a 30 per cent wage cut would cost £200million in lost taxes
  • The players criticised Health Secretary Matt Hancock over the demand

 The country’s top footballers have spoken out over the Premier League pay-cut row in an extraordinary statement criticising health secretary Matt Hancock and their own bosses over plans to take 30 per cent off their huge wages amid the coranovirus pandemic.

On Friday, Premier League clubs proposed to raise £20million for charitable causes, advance £125million to support clubs in the EFL and National League and initiate a 30 per cent salary cut/deferral across 12 months for Premier League players. 

But in a statement on Saturday the Professional Footballers’ Association warned a wage cut could cost up to £200m in lost taxes and called on clubs to do more to support NHS staff and key workers. 

Premier League players have pledged to support clubs and non-playing staff amid coronavirus

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was criticised over his call for players to take a wage cut

The statement said: ‘All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times.

‘All Premier League players fully appreciate their role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis. 

‘They care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship at the moment.’ 

The statement added: ‘We cannot stress enough that football is in this together. Solidarity and putting aside any self-interest is paramount. 

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson had been in talks with fellow Premier League skippers

Premier League players say that the £20m donation to the NHS could be more

 ‘£20m us welcome but we believe it could be far bigger.

‘The EFL money is an advance. Importantly, it will aid cashflow in the immediate, but football needs to find a way to increase funding to the EFL and non-league clubs in the long-term.

‘Many clubs require an increase in funding just to survive. We believe in our football pyramid and again stress the need for solidarity between all clubs.

‘Going forward, we are working together to find a solution which will be continually reviewed in order to assess the circumstance of the COVID-19 crisis.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor had been in discussions with clubs over the measures

Richard Masters, chief executive of Premier League, had made a series of proposals

‘The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services – which are especially critical at this time. Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services.

‘The proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government. 

‘What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?

‘We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks.’

THE PFA’S FULL STATEMENT

All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times.

All Premier League players fully appreciate their role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis. They care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship at the moment.

Discussions about how players can best financially contribute have been ongoing during the current crisis, and prior to yesterday’s announcement by the Premier League.

The Premier League players want to take the lead and ensure their financial contributions will support:

• Our clubs that we play for will obviously need our support, particularly if this crisis goes beyond June.

• Non-playing staff at our Premier League clubs – guaranteeing they receive 100% of their wages.

• EFL and non-league clubs, their staff and players.

• The NHS – whose workers – many of whom are football fans – are doing so much for us all. They are the real heroes.

We cannot stress enough that football is in this together. Solidarity and putting aside any self-interest is paramount.

To re-cap what the Premier League proposed within the announcement yesterday:

· £20m to charitable causes.

· Advancing £125m to the EFL and National League clubs.

· A 12-month 30% salary cut/deferral in wages for Premier League players.

£20m is welcome, but we believe it could be far bigger.

The EFL money is an advance. Importantly, it will aid cashflow in the immediate, but football needs to find a way to increase funding to the EFL and non-league clubs in the long-term.

Many clubs require an increase in funding just to survive. We believe in our football pyramid and again stress the need for solidarity between all clubs.

Going forward, we are working together to find a solution which will be continually reviewed in order to assess the circumstance of the COVID-19 crisis.

The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services – which are especially critical at this time. Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services.

The proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government. What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?

We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks.

It is our priority to finalise the precise details of our commitment as soon as possible. However, to achieve a collective position for all Premier League players – of which there are many different financial and contractual circumstances from club-to-club – will take a bit more time.

The PFA Charity has also agreed to make a substantial contribution to a player-led initiative once the details are finalised.

There should be no doubting the players and captains are committed to achieving this as soon as possible. They recognise their role in wider society and what they need to do, as a group, to help and support others.




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