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Premier League Salary Cuts

Chelsea FC announced yesterday that they still hadn’t reached a salary reduction agreement with their players for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. Reports suggest that Chelsea had asked the players to consider a 30% reduction, as per the Premier League’s suggestion, but the players came back with a counter offer.

Other top flight clubs have already announced salary cuts. Arsenal’s players recently agreed to a 12.5% reduction. Aston Villa’s players have taken a 25% cut.

How do you feel about that? Outraged that such well paid players aren’t prepared to reduce their sizeable earnings? Or do you think that they’re being singled out because they’re an easy target? I tend to fall into the latter camp.

NEWSFLASH: PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALLERS EARN LOTS OF DOSH!

We knew that already. The money swishing around in top flight football is ridiculous but player salaries and transfer fees have been published in the media for years. It’s a bit rich, pun intended, to suddenly decide that it’s scandalous and they should all accept pay cuts because we’re in the pits of a national crisis.

Why them? The simple answer is, because they make headlines. Why not call out all the other well paid people in different professions who could easily take home a slightly lighter monthly pay cheque and not miss the difference? I’m not going to name names or professions as that would be somewhat hypocritical but we all know who they are.

There was no caveat put in place when top flight players started earning monster wages. “You can have all the cash right now pal but if the Health Minister ever mentions your wages at any point then we’ll have to talk about a pay cut.”

How much of a difference would wage cuts make and where would the money actually go? If it helps to keep the non-playing staff in a job then I understand why it might be put forward as an idea. But surely the non-playing staff are the clubs’, not the players’ responsibility. The clubs are happy to pay huge wages when it suits them and when they can make money off the back of the players.

When we come out of the other side of this, the rich clubs will readily start spending mega money on new transfers and wages (perhaps with a new pandemic clause in the contracts!). It’s been too easy to generate publicity and shift blame by throwing the players under the bus right now.

I’m not even sure how these proposed cuts are supposed to work. A young player on his first professional contract at a Premier League is earning a lot less than the club’s star player but presumably they would both take the same reduction in wages. That’s definitely going to impact one more than the other.

What’s the cut off point? Premier League players only? Championship players as well? Championship players if they’re earning more than Premier League players? Chief Executives who are earning more than some of the players?

Personally I think a mass pay cut is just a grand gesture. Credit to the clubs and players who have stepped forward and agreed to cuts but there are more productive ways to put footballers in the spotlight.

Marcus Rashford’s charity work has raised £20million for vulnerable kids in Manchester, ensuring that they have school dinners. Wilfried Zaha has offered healthcare workers battling the virus free accommodation in 50 London properties.

Instead of demonising footballers, sometimes it’s better to give them the opportunity to prove that they can and will give something back.