The captains of all 20 Premier League clubs are reported to have held talks about donating a percentage of wages to charity, amid calls for top-flight footballers to do more to help during the coronavirus crisis.
High-earning players have come under fire as the country is brought to its knees by the pandemic. Health secretary Matt Hancock singled out the Premier League, claiming players should ‘take a pay cut and play their part’ while the NHS comes under strain and the country faces an unprecedented financial crisis.
While there has been little in the way of direct opposition to the general sentiment, many have pointed out that it is unfair to criticise footballers without applying the same standard to other high-paid professions.
A PFA statement said that clubs should be paying all staff and players in full if they can afford it, saying that players taking pay cuts would only serve to line the pockets of wealthy owners in many cases.
But despite the PFA’s stance and the furious ongoing debate, the BBC report that the captains of all 20 clubs have held discussions over potential donations to charity.
The report claims that wage deferrals have been on the agenda, and that donations directly to the NHS look like the most likely eventuality at this stage.
The news squares with a report by The Times claiming that Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has organised a coronavirus ‘crisis fund’ which has been pitched to the other club captains, and is expected to run into seven figures at least.
The news comes after it emerged earlier on Friday that Manchester United captain Harry Maguire asked players to take a 30% wage cut, all of which would instead be paid to hospitals in the city.
Tottenham, meanwhile, offered the use of their stadium to the NHS in order to help with the increasing demand for hospital space, as football continues to do its part in the fight against the global pandemic.