Professional footballers - should their pay be cut?

I’ll rephrase - some have donated a lot but when the people doing the day to day chores in football are being furloughed this make me angry.

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Why not read the linked article properly? It makes it clear that cutting salaries will dramatically reduce tax (and ni) payments, and that players are already trying to organise charitable donations.

The underlying issue is more closely the responsibility of club owners not players, so your angry opening is a bit misplaced.

Lineker this week has donated 2 months net salary to the British Red Cross I believe. He’s said it took a while to make sure that the money went to the right place, and that by not giving up salary at source his sizeable tax & NI contributions were still deducted.

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I presume too you’ll reserve some of your ire for the multi-millionaire owners of other high profile businesses who whilst being worth piles of cash are also asking for govt money / laying off staff at the earliest opportunity.

Plus which it’s the PFA who have made that statement. The PFA looks after all its members, not just the top of the tree headline highest earners.


My entirely personal view FWIW: Anyone who is paid 70k per week is seriously overpaid (that is nothing to do with coronavirus). For that to continue for footballers when not even working, while football businesses seek to use public money to subsidise funding the very much lower pay of ordinary staff to me is downright obscene. The footballers pay should be cut to the equivalent of, say, £100k pa (a very good salary), and after paying other staff their full normal wages anything left should be returned to the supporters who fund them, and/or provided to fund essential NHS costs.

The same applies to non-football businesses.


The players are just the sharp and visible end of an industry that has stunk for ages. One where ten million pounds is small change, infested with dodgy millionaires and dodgier agents. Where racism, sexism and homophobia are as much in the boardroom as the crowd. Where cheating on the pitch is applauded and referees are sworn at and abused.

These players are young lads mostly, hot housed in protected bubbles and earning more than they can seriously understand. Some from humble roots (such as many African players) send large amounts of money home and many have always supported charities but less face it; when you earn millions of pounds a year what is a ‘reasonable’ amount to donate?

A sport/industry long overdue a fall or at the very least a readjustment. Maybe without the oxygen of over-hype and exposure the current crisis will trigger that, but I am not hopeful.

Thanks for posting this thread, I felt like a rant this morning!



You are correct, I didn’t initially read it properly, and after perusing some articles about frontline staff and children dying, the clickbait headline rather made my blood boil - consequently I probably didn’t take it in properly even on a second/third read, though did subtly change thread title and opening comments early on. Maybe still too harsh, trying to figure out a better title for the thread or whether it should be deleted.

The PFA will naturally fight for its members but can’t help feeling the idea will go down like a lead balloon with the general public.

It will be inetersting to see public comments if the BBC allow a HYS on the story.

I hope the charitable donations will be eligible for Gift Aid!

Thanks Bruce - an excellent rant to start the day!

I share many of your feelings.

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Where does Wetherspoon’s Tim Martin sit on the scum of the earth ladder?

Or Mike Ashley…


I see from the headlines today that an investment firm linked to a senior politician with a 15% holding is touting the crisis as a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to pick up cheap shares - it’s what they do for a living of course, so why should we be surprised as the 1% get richer and richer…

Must confess I know little about Tim Martin, but the other chap consistently seems to portray himself in a poor light in the media.

When all this is over I think the public will remember the actions of those who wanted to profit while others suffered.

Premier League players don’t want a pay cut…
While teams such as Liverpool are furloughing some non-playing staff , players are arguing against a 30% cut in their wages during the suspension of the season - because they say it will mean less money for the NHS. Cutting their pay by £500m means £200m less in taxes, the Professional Footballers’ Association says.
BBC online reporting

I’m probably less riled by the fact that they have huge salaries and want to retain them, than by the PFA using the NHS ‘suffering’ if their members’ pay was reduced. Less money to the exchequer no doubt, but that would not be going directly to the NHS.

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Can we start with that former footballer and now grossly overpaid pundit ‘employed’ by the BBC while mutating into Catweasel - Gary Lineker.


I agree with Bruce’s summary above. But the issue of a wage cut is nuanced, and this is what is exercising minds e.g. where’s the money going to go?, noting some clubs have already furloughed non-playing staff.

As a general concept, I am struggling with furloughing. It should be a safety net and in many instances it isn’t being used like this, it’s just a pass-off of costs on to HMG. IMV it should be subject to a corporate means test (of sorts).

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No particular axe to grind for Lineker but he’s one of the only (perhaps the only) high profile figures with any sort of public conscience. Fortunately, we don’t look to professional football players as beacons of progressive social thinking. Not a single senior player (to the best of my knowledge) has spoken out against the decision of FIFA to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. A country where the stadiums have been built by what is essentially slave labour, and every match due to be played equates to the deaths of three migrant labourers who died during the construction of the stadiums, due to the horrific working conditions. A sobering thought for us as we relax in our armchairs with a cold beer to watch the matches.


Good call Sodastream - he does seems like one of the “good guys”.

You omitted to detail what you’re doing that we should so admire.


In my eyes, this thread applies to all celebrities, entertainers that are rewarded disproportionately to their value to society.

It is an odd world that we have made for ourselves.


I can’t really get alongside the idea that anyone should be paid the sorts of amounts that these people - and so many others - get paid.
It also seems rather a poor show that the banks, who were bailed out so handsomely by the great unwashed, should now be so reluctant to help businesses that are in trouble.


It actually beggars belief that if clubs (businesses) can still afford to pay the players’ salaries that they then drop the most poorly paid and leave the government to pick up the pieces.

It’s probably far more contractually complex, but shouldn’t HMG be legislating against this kind of thing - you can either afford salaries for all employees, perhaps with temporary reductions across the board, or for none - why should only the highly paid keep their wages?


Objective exposure of inequality is one thing, but I struggle a little with histrionic, quite nasty ‘rushes to judgement’ based, primarily, upon tabloid exposure. Dare I say the majority of high end Naim system owners are probably in their positions of relative wealth as a result of the same capitalist, market economy system that rewards footballers in the way so many are swift to criticise.

How long before we see a thread aiming the same amount of invective and ire at hedge fund managers and thise sitting at the top of the various corporate trees? This is capitalism, pure and simple. Look at the alternatives - not that appealing, eh?

Charitable giving ought to be a private affair - I for one will never reveal to the world at large the contributions my wife and I make. What the footballers choose to do is between them and their conscience, and I personally think the stone chuckers should ‘butt out’.