Should Prem players take a 30% paycut?

I’ll say from the off that I’m not overly bothered either way about this but it’s a big talking point in the media.

There’s been much comment about clubs such as Liverpool and Spurs, who I both believe made £100 million profits according to the latest accounts, furloughing their non-playing staff and on the face of it, the complaints seem reasonable. They make massive profits and it seems they could easily afford to pay the wages, at least for a while.
But while those clubs are making profit, we all know that most clubs don’t.
Should we criticise those clubs if they go down the same route?

Certainly Aston Villa won’t be in a good place at the moment and I’ve seen it said that our extremely wealthy owners should continue to pay our staff’s wages.
My argument (and it’s not a strong stance on my part) would be that why should they have to carry the can just because they can?
The club will be losing money hand over fist and none of this is the owner’s doing, after all.
And then there’s the possibility that clubs might have to pay back television rights and sponsorship etc.
From what I’ve read, this might cost the Premier league clubs around £750 million, which is an eye-watering amount.

It should also be bourne in mind that these are Government rules, so the clubs are doing nothing wrong.
The staff can’t work because of Corona and they are entitled to be furloughed, it’s as simple as that.
How the country is going to pay for this is beyond me, but that’s a different subject.

But all this does beg the question of is it moral for massively profit making clubs to furlough workers?
Certainly from a personal point of view, the company I represent (I’m self-employed) are not taking advantage of this “free” money.
They have suffered a massive shortfall in work and instead of furloughing everyone, have simply made some people redundant because they don’t see things picking up even after the Corona thing is over.
That seems harsh, as they could have furloughed the workers and then made them redundant after.
But furloughing is supposed to be part of a job retention scheme and it just seems they’ve been honest about the situation. That hardly helps the workers, but I assume the company has had to pay redundancy pay etc, so it’s probably cost them severely.

As for me, I’ve been working constantly in an industry that can in no way be considered essential, in my opinion. But that’s just how it is.
Some might consider me selfish in continuing to work when there’s no need, but what am I supposed to do otherwise?
I’m due a payment that would probably see me through six months, as long as I get it(!).
I will probably qualify for the self employed protection scheme, but you can’t even apply until June at the earliest but that’s a long time with no income.
Yes, I could claim dole money, or whatever it’s called nowadays, but it wouldn’t even cover my Stella costs, let alone pay the bills. Benefits are a disgrace for the working man in this country, but again that’s another issue.

The point is I don’t want handouts and would rather earn my own keep, thank you very much.
Meanwhile, I maintain social distancing as much as possible at work, travel alone etc and continue to walk the dog occasionally at impossibly unsocial hours.
I’m not as irresponsible as the likes of Jack Grealish or Kyle Walker, for example.

Which goes back to the Prem players.
Again, on the face of it, it’s all very straightforward.
These players are minted, living in multi-million pound houses and getting more in a week than most earn in a year. They can afford a 30% cut, no problem.
And I can fully understand that viewpoint.

But no doubt the player’s stance will be “why should we?”
The moral answer will be “because when everyone else is suffering, you should shoulder some of the burden too”.
I can’t fault that sort of response either.
But let’s not forget that these players are contracted to be paid a certain amount and if the club can’t afford it, that’s their problem. They shouldn’t have agreed the contract in the first place.

And then there’s the issue of who would actually get the 30% anyway?
Ok, the club will save it, but it seems to me that if they were to take a pay cut, it’s the taxman who will also miss out, as he takes a large chunk of it anyway.

Of course, we’d like to think that the players have some loyalty to the club and won’t want to see it take a big hit.
But we all know it doesn’t work like that.
The argument is that their career is short-lived and they need to make as much money as possible, while they can.
With the money they earn, I’m not convinced by that, but that’s how it is.

I’ve seen mention of payment deferrments and that seems a sensible solution to me.
But I’ve also seen that players at at least one club have been asked to have their contract re-written at 10% lower.
That’s just plain wrong, in my opinion.

16 Comments

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  1. Avatar
    Bill Pearson April 5, 2020 at 8:39 pm .

    Me personally Badger thinks a 30% cut is not unreasonable, this virus that’s hit the world needs us all to help in some way, yes its not their fault but it needs them to think it’s to help them in their jobs as well as club personal being on the bread line. Yes the tax man gets a big chunk but 30% would be less tax to pay and someone still in a job. Me I’m all for them having a pay cut.

  2. Avatar
    Holte66 April 6, 2020 at 9:55 am .

    I understand the argument that if they take a pay cut then it will help the clubs owners. If they don’t take a pay cut then they still pay full tax on it which benefits the economy more than the owners. The problem is that you can’t put a blanket rule on all clubs because some owners are billionaires and some aren’t. I think the decisions should be made in house. If for instance Villa’s owners can afford to pay all their staff then I think they have a responsibility to do so. Other clubs owners like Burnley might require players to take a pay cut and furlough their non playing staff. For the richest players, i would then hope that they show some decency in contributing to the NHS by means of voluntary payments. Whilst I have had to take 80% of my wage up to £2500 per month, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for players earning my annual salary in a week to be extra generous. Of course this shouldn’t apply just to footballers but anyone who earns similar salaries.

  3. Avatar
    Hitchens60 April 7, 2020 at 7:11 am .

    First off, I have to say I think the PFA’s statement is disingenuous and doesn’t help the moral argument one bit. Yes, there would be a reduction in tax revenue but to suggest that it goes solely to the NHS?

    The central argument here is that by the players taking a pay reduction it would assist many if not all clubs in continuing to pay the many staff they employ (and without whom there wouldn’t be any football matches) without having to furlough (mainly low paid) staff on 80% of wages, which in turn saves the Government money that can be directed to the NHS. Now, two things, is that more or less than the £200m claimed loss in tax revenues? But it’s not just those staff being furloughed, there will be others who have been made redundant and, when this is over, how many more will lose their jobs because of the poor financial state of many clubs – all of whom will be seeking benefit thus more pressure on state finances.

    The worlds top footballers are privileged people who, apart from a notable few, seem to be doing very little constructively other than hiding behind their union – something I would hasten to add is not happening generally.

    The vast majority of people are suffering financially so I don’t care what they do but they need to man up and contribute and quickly.

    Finally, I read that Liverpool have done an about turn and are now paying their staff which Villa are also continuing to do.

  4. Avatar
    Hitchens60 April 8, 2020 at 4:13 pm .

    So Grealish isn’t the only footballer (/ manager) to show ‘disrespect’ in not following the Governments directions. Will the other clubs – Spurs and Citeh – fine their miscreants and give the money to hospital charities?

    Of course he’ll still get the most negative publicity though!

  5. Avatar
    Bill Pearson April 12, 2020 at 8:51 am .

    Don’t like the sound of clubs discussion of suspending the league’s and relegating the bottom 3 in the premiership. I’m pissed off as it is with lockdown without that . Hope all’s well with you lads and stay safe.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 April 12, 2020 at 7:07 pm .

      Bill – agree. They either have to finish the season or promote the top two in the Championship and have 22 teams next season. Otherwise the blokes in curly wigs are going to be in the money 🙂

      Stay safe mate

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson April 12, 2020 at 7:55 pm .

    I hope this is true lads.

    Jack Grealish staying, Louie Barry, Trezeguet transfer – Your burning Aston Villa questions answered
    Aston Villa Q&A – Ashley Preece sat down with the claret and blue faithful for a 30-minute discussion about all things AVFC, from persuading Jack Grealish to stay to the dwindling contracts of Callum O’Hare, Keinan Davis & Andre Green

    Makes sense. …

  7. Avatar
    Holte66 April 16, 2020 at 12:38 pm .

    Been reading Twitter comments that Jack has agreed personal terms with Man Ure with deal between clubs outstanding! I’m pretty sure it’s fake news but no smoke without fire! ☹️
    Hope everyone is well and keeping sane!

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 April 16, 2020 at 1:21 pm .

      I’d say highly unlikely given Villa would have to sanction the discussions first! This is just a rehash of an old bit of fake news – that doesn’t mean he won’t go in the next transfer window – whenever that might be!

      All well here Holte – hope good with you and everyone else out there.

      Stay safe; stay home

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