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Premier League pay row adds to pressure on game amid pandemic

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Premier League pay row adds to pressure on game amid pandemic

By Simon Evans

 

2020-04-04T182802Z_1_LYNXMPEG330II_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-SOCCER-ENGLAND.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Burnley v AFC Bournemouth - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - February 22, 2020 General view of the Premier League logo on a match ball before the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

 

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The players union representing Premier League footballers has questioned the league's call for a 30% player wage reduction amid the coronavirus crisis, saying it would reduce tax revenue for the National Health Service.

 

The stance taken by the union raises the prospect of a damaging public wrangle over the salaries of some of the best paid footballers in the world at a time when Britain is facing a major public health crisis.

 

The union's apparent reluctance to endorse player wage reductions emerged after Premier League leaders and European champions Liverpool joined other clubs in announcing they had furloughed some of their non-playing staff.

 

This would make them eligible for public money through the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

 

"Concerned about the turn football talks have taken tonight," Oliver Dowden, Britain's Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, wrote on twitter.

 

"People do not want to see infighting in our national sport at a time of crisis. Football must play its part to show that the sport understands the pressures its lower paid staff, communities and fans face."

 

Player representatives of the 20 Premier League clubs and officials from the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) union met with the Premier League on Saturday.

 

The clubs had agreed on Friday to consult their players regarding a combination of conditional wage reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of total annual pay.

 

The league outlined the possible financial damage that could be caused if the season does not resume, having been frozen due to the coronavirus outbreak since March 13.

 

The league warned that broadcasters could demand 762 million pounds ($934 million) in refunds on games that they would not be able to show. Losses in sponsorship and matchday revenue would also impact the game.

 

The talks on Saturday were not described as a negotiation and no decision was expected to be taken, but the PFA issued a lengthy statement, not attributed to any official, which questioned the logic of the league's stance.

 

"The players are mindful that... the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services - which are especially critical at this time," the statement said.

 

"Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services."

 

The PFA added that the proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period would equate to over 500 million pounds in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over 200 million to the government.

 

The 20 Premier League captains held a conference call on Thursday to discuss ways in which they could make a contribution or donation.

 

The PFA, which is mainly funded via Premier League broadcast revenue payments, said that the players wanted to provide financial help.

 

"All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times," the statement said.

 

"All Premier League players fully appreciate their role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis. They care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship at the moment."

 

The union said that the players want to ensure their financial contributions support the clubs they play for, non-playing staff, lower league clubs and the NHS.

 

(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-04-05
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Burnley FC in the EPL say they only have enough cash to last until August.

Spurs (7th richest club in the world) are looking for taxpayers money to subsidise their non-playing staff's wages (many are people on low'ish pay),

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Just typical isnt it, over paid prima donnas will allow clubs to go into administration, as long as they get their over inflated salaries, pathetic situation, they want paid for doing nothing.

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1 hour ago, Andrew65 said:

Spurs (7th richest club in the world) are looking for taxpayers money to subsidise their non-playing staff's wages (many are people on low'ish pay),

Liverpool are doing the same.

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18 minutes ago, mrbojangles said:

Liverpool are doing the same.

Yep....not often we can get anything from the Tories is it!😆

 

But on a serious note, it seems an ill-thought decision and is already being criticised by supporters groups and pundits. In the past, FSG have reversed poor decisions and this may well turn out to be the case here. I hope so.

 

It should be noted by posters that it is the clubs themselves and NOT the players who are responsible for the furloughing so try not to aim your vitriol at them, many of whom are already making substantial donations to charities and the NHS.

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2 hours ago, colinneil said:

Just typical isnt it, over paid prima donnas will allow clubs to go into administration, as long as they get their over inflated salaries, pathetic situation, they want paid for doing nothing.

I thought the PL players WERE willing to take a cut but don't want the owners to benefit from the 'saved money', which they want to go to non-playing staff within their own club or to charity. 

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The "Players Union" should be ashamed of themselves... All about me,me,me & my %.

In a time of crisis this is about the most lame duck excuse I have ever heard & just proves that they are as brain dead as most of the players they represent

A better idea would have been to represent their players (those getting over say 20,000) quid a week to donate 40% of their salaries tax free  to fight the cause & the Union basis their rip off commission on what is left

When this is all over there will be some soul searching as with me 1 supermarket chain I will never darken their doors again, 2 airlines will NEVER fly again, & there is more.

Will give a complete list & why once this epic is over.

Stay safe everyone 

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I wish Rooney had kept his gob shut He has just made himself look a total mug. 

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On 4/5/2020 at 12:47 PM, wilai said:

But on a serious note, it seems an ill-thought decision and is already being criticised by supporters groups and pundits. In the past, FSG have reversed poor decisions and this may well turn out to be the case here. I hope so.

That's what Iike about FSG.....They listen to their fans and are not afraid to admit when they are wrong.

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