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Rose ‘happy to take wage cut’ as Premier League meets players

London (AFP) – Newcastle’s Danny Rose says he would be prepared to give up some of his salary due to the coronavirus crisis but believes players have been unfairly targeted in the festering Premier League wage-cut row.

Clubs were due to speak with players’ representatives on Saturday over a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of annual salary.

It came as Liverpool became the latest club to furlough non-playing staff and Burnley warned they would face a shortfall of up to £50 million ($61 million) if it was not possible to complete the season.

Premier League stars, currently out of action due to the global pandemic, have come under fire after a number of clubs furloughed non-playing staff but left players’ wages untouched.

The English top-flight is lagging behind other European leagues and was accused by one lawmaker of operating in a “moral vacuum”.

Barcelona and Bayern Munich have taken pay cuts while the squad of Italian champions Juventus, including Cristiano Ronaldo, have agreed to have their wages stopped for four months.

Rose, on loan at Newcastle from Tottenham, told the BBC: “We’re all keen to make something happen.

“I can only speak for myself but I would have no problems whatsoever contributing some of my wages to people who are fighting this on the front line and to people who have been affected by what’s happening at the minute.”

On Friday, a hospital in London identified Rose as the individual behind a £19,000 donation.

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson led talks between Premier League club captains over what action they could take, a move that began before Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Thursday joined those singling out footballers.

“We sort of feel our backs are against the wall,” Rose said. “Conversations were being had before people outside of football were commenting.

“I’ve been on the phone to Jordan Henderson and he’s working so hard to come up with something.

“It was just not needed for people who are not involved in football to tell footballers what they should do with their money. I found that so bizarre.”

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has backed players and managers to “do the right thing” by taking a pay cut and said any decisions made should be taken in a united way.

He added: “It is important we get it right and don’t go individual. It is a little bit disappointing now when you see clubs making individual statements and going their own way.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and Brighton counterpart Graham Potter have both taken voluntary wage cuts.

– Liverpool furlough players – 

Liverpool announced they were putting some of their non-playing staff on furlough following a similar move by other clubs, including Tottenham and Newcastle.

The Premier League leaders said staff would be paid 100 percent of their salaries to ensure nobody was financially disadvantaged.

A club statement said there was “a collective commitment at senior levels of the club — on and off the pitch — with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis”.

Burnley chairman Mike Garlick said the COVID-19 crisis was a uniquely challenging time for clubs, in addressing the possibility of a huge financial hit.

“It’s a completely unprecedented situation that we and other Premier League clubs face and which we could not have foreseen in any way only just a few weeks ago,” he said.

“It’s now not just about Burnley or any other individual club any more, it’s about the whole football ecosystem from the Premier League downwards and all the other businesses and communities that feed from that ecosystem.”

The Premier League said on Friday that the 2019/20 season would only return when it was “safe and appropriate to do so”.

The league agreed to provide a £125 million fund for the English Football League and National League and pledged £20 million in charitable support for the National Health Service and other groups.

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