Premier League players have been urged to ‘play their part’ and ‘take a pay cut’ during the coronavirus crisis by health secretary Matt Hancock.
Several Premier League clubs – including Tottenham and Newcastle – have received widespread criticism after announcing a decision to furlough their non-playing staff, despite maintaining full player salaries as football bids to combat the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.
The clubs have opted to use the government’s job retention scheme and utilise tax-payers’ money to fund the wages of non-playing staff, with some leading players still receiving wages in excess of £100,000-a-week.
With many people facing uncertain futures amid the current global situation, the decision of Premier League clubs to not redistribute their internal wealth has led to an angry reaction, including a plea from Hancock to ‘play their part’ in the crisis.
'Given the sacrifices that many people are making – the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution.'
Matt Hancock has called on all Premier League footballers to take a pay cut during the #coronavirus crisis.
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) April 3, 2020
“Given the sacrifices people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice and gone into work and caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution; take a pay cut and play their part,” he said at the daily government briefing.
Meanwhile, Gary Neville took to Twitter to respond to Hancock’s comments on Premier League players and believes a proposal to aid clubs and the community is ‘more than likely’ being worked on at present, whilst launching a stinging attack on Hancock’s hypocrisy for his own failures to support the NHS.
“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.
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 [email protected]@@@@g cheek!
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 2, 2020
“Matt Hancock calling them out when he can’t get tests in place for NHS staff is a [email protected]@@@@g cheek!”