Coronavirus News Asia

Soccer stars bite the hand that feeds, refuse pay cut

Soccer’s English Premiership stars, who get paid millions of pounds to kick a ball around, refused to take a 30% pay cut from owners, saying: “We’d rather give our cash to the NHS than help out our rich owners.”

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Watford captain Troy Deeney and West Ham skipper Mark Noble led the fightback in a video conference that served only to deepen divisions, and perhaps launch a civil war in the beautiful game, UK’s The Sun, reported.

Premier League chiefs and club executives thought the players were ready to buy into their proposal for a wage cut or deferral of up to 30% designed to stave off financial meltdown caused by the coronavirus crisis, the report said.

And the PFA (Professional Footballers Association) supported the hardline stance with a strong statement that hit back at criticism of players from politicians, the report said.

The players’ union claimed such a big cut in stars’ wages would actually damage the public services that were fighting the pandemic.

The PFA said: “The proposed 30 per cent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500million 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 to the NHS (National Health Service)? 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?”

It was somehow quaint that the meeting kicked off at 3 pm on a Saturday.

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