London (AFP) – The British government on Thursday said English Premier League footballers should take a pay cut, amid outrage at top flight clubs using a furlough scheme for non-playing staff.
Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich have said they will use a government scheme to guarantee 80 percent of salaries for staff up to a maximum of £2,500 ($3,100, 2,850 euros) per month.
The decision prompted anger from the head of parliament’s digital, culture, media and sport committee, Julian Knight, as no cuts have so far been agreed for high-earning players.
Asked whether it was ethical for clubs to put non-playing staff on the furlough scheme, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said everyone needed to play a part in the fightback against coronavirus.
“That means Premier League footballers too,” he told a news conference in Downing Street.
“Given the sacrifices that many people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice of going into work, and have 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 added.
Knight has written to the Premier League to express what he said was his “dismay” and warned that “this two-tier system is morally wrong”.
“The purpose of the Coronavirus Job Retentions Scheme is not to support the economics of Premier League clubs”.
He has proposed “financial redress” so the government recoups a proportion of the money clubs pay to the players if there is no change of approach.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Spurs midfielder Lo Celso joins Villarreal on loan
- African players in Europe: Dream home debut for Awoniyi
- Where to find Juventus vs. Sassuolo on US TV
- Where to find Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace on US TV
- Famous clubs battle for Champions League group slots
- Alaba free-kick gives Real Madrid win to start title defence
- Roma squeeze past Salernitana, Immobile fires Lazio to Bologna win
- Chippa inflict first loss on Orlando Pirates’ new ‘plumber’ coach
- Alexis Sanchez makes Marseille debut in Brest draw
- ‘Fair tackle’ as Tuchel insists no hard feelings after Conte clash