Coronavirus: Cutting footballers wages is "not justifiable"

4 April 2020, 09:41

By Seán Hickey

A massive loss of tax revenue and the humongous finances of football clubs make wage cuts for players ridiculous, a sports journalist has said.

After the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur Daniel Levy placed non-playing staff on furlough without propping up the other 20% of their wage, the inequality of football has been a subject of debate.

Tom Swarbrick was joined by Adam Crafton, football journalist for The Athletic to discuss the controversy and to shed light onto the world of these lucrative football clubs.

It was pointed out that when Mr. Levy placed non-playing staff at Spurs on furlough that he "was hoping players and coaching staff would do the same" wherein they'd completely hand back their wage or defer them until the football season kicks off again.

Mr. Crofton, backing the apparent dragging of feet by the footballers noted that "Matt Hancock gave the classic politician's answer about football" when he was quizzed about the pay controversy.

The sports journalist noted that Norwich and Bournemouth have topped up the 20% themselves where Spurs have essentially given their non-playing staff a 20% pay cut.

Mr. Crofton suggested that the players "could they defer their wages in order to pay non-playing staff".

Tom pointed out to Mr. Crofton that this has been an argument made by people like Gary Neville who claimed that players are planning on donating wages and should be given time to do so. Tom saw this as a ridiculous point "when other staff are on nought percentage points of the players' wage".

Daniel Levy came under fire for his pay cut policy
Daniel Levy came under fire for his pay cut policy. Picture: PA

The Athletic's journalist pointed out that the PFA are currently trying to "strike a collective deal" through all football leagues for what to do with footballers wages during this time.

Mr. Crofton pointed out that the call for players to take a 50% pay cut "is not justifiable" as the accounts of football clubs are too grand for it to make sense.

He agreed with the idea of a kitty being made by footballers to help pay the wages of non-playing staff in a football club and made the case that if you were to cut the wages of these footballers, you'd make significantly less in tax during this time- which may be one of the largest subsidisers of government at the moment.

Tom wanted to know "what should the average football fan make of this".

"We're seeing the ugly side" the sports journalist noted. Despite the current anger towards football and the swathes of money involved, Mr. Crofton did point out that "when football returns there will be a huge appetite for it".

He warned Tom however that "if we say football lost touch with the common man decades ago, that will only intensify" in the days and weeks ahead as this story develops.

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