It has become one of the talking points during the Covid19 outbreak.
Premier League clubs furloughing non-playing staff whilst their players still received hundreds of thousands of pounds a month.
Contractually, clubs can not force players to take a pay cut. No business can.
Forcing an employee to take a pay cut would be a breach of contract, and would leave that employee, or football player, free to join another company. In the football world, this would cost millions in lost transfer fees.
To be furloughed, the employee needs to agree to it. If they fail to agree to it, furlough might turn into redundancy.
Whilst in the business world, a company will have no issue making an employee redundant is they refused to be furloughed, the football world is different. Will Tottenham really make Harry Kane redundant because he refused furlough?
This leaves clubs in the tough situation where it is up to the players to offer to take a pay cut, rather than it be enforced on them or agreeing to a furlough.
That is why the clubs should be defended (or at least not criticised). It is down to players to take that pay cut.
At Arsenal, the likes of Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil have both been loud voices against political situations across the world.
Ozil was quick to post a message on his Instagram criticising China’s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang.
Hector Bellerin was happy getting involved in the UK election even though he was no entitled to vote.
Both men attempt to portray themselves as being politic intellects. Having an understanding of what is happening across the globe. Quick to share their opinion. It is therefore a surprise how quiet both have been when it comes to Covid19.
Bellerin earns £110,000 a week; Ozil £350,000 a week.
If both players decided not to be paid for a single week, that would likely cover Arsenal’s non-playing staff wage bill (bar Mikel Arteta) for an entire month. It is disappointing both have been so quiet.
This is not an abuse of Bellerin or Ozil, but of the wider Premier League football community. All players should hang their heads in shame.
They have been paid their millions due to gate receipts and broadcasting income from fans across the globe. Those fans are now facing their own hardships.
From China to Spain, England to Italy, millions would have lost their jobs. Be worried about keeping a rough over their heads. By the end of the pandemic, most people would know someone who has died with coronavirus. Yet football players seem oblivious.
They have locked themselves up in their fortress-like mansions, cuting themselves off to the rest of the world. It is almost like it is a case of “I can not see it so it is not happening”.
Players continue with their self-promotion on Instagram, videoing themselves kicking bog roll, tea bags or doing silly dances, but have many have actually sacrificed something to help combat the virus?
Some back of the fag pack figures:
Premier League players earn, on average, £3,000,000 a year. There are ~500 players.
This means means they earn a collective £1.5bn per annum.
If every player sacrificed a single days salary – not even the 20% that employees are having to sacrifice when furloughed – it would generate over £4million. That would be more than enough to cover the non-playing staff at every Premier League club.
A second day without pay would be enough to cover costs for non-playing staff at every club from the Championship to League 2. A third day without pay would be enough to cover the playing wage bill of every League 1 and League 2 club.
Premier League footballers could do so much to help their fellow professionals at the lower end of the football pyramid. So much to help their colleagues who work for the same club as them.
But they sit quiet. On their huge wages. Knowing that their employer won’t furlough them, won’t make them redundant, can’t force a wage cut on them.
It is ignorance and greed. It will end up driving a bigger wedge between those players and the fans that pay their wages.
If footballers do not step up and take pay cuts like they have done in Italy and Spain, I never want to hear them ever share their opinion on politics, or any other situation in the world.
They would have shown that their words are hollow, and when action is needed they lock their door and do nothing.
Remember tonight at 8pm we are hosting The BIG Arsenal quiz to raise money for the NHS. Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/she-wore
My own feeling is that after end of financial year accounts are finished, each premier league club should forfeit a percentage of their profits do be distributed amongst the lower leagues. Players should also be asked to contribute the same percentage. As should players agents and anybody else who capitalises on football.
Sky Sports, BT Sport, Foxtel and all of the other broadcasters who have made billions from football, should also contribute the same percentage.
As should Nike, Adidas etc.
And LIneker et al.
A list of every player and all of the other entities I have mentioned above, should be published to show who has contributed.
What we don’t want, is one single small club going under because of a virus which interrupted their make or break season just as things were looking up for them.
That is not football.