It’s always astonishing where the politicians are quick to attack athletes for making so much money yet they will vigorously protect business owners who pay no tax, but that could be a discussion for another day.
There’s a lot of talk about football clubs and the financial situation right now. Of course the actual players will earn vastly more than the non playing staff, but should it be down to the players or the club to pay those staff?
There’s a narrative being driven that the players rather the the actual club should be the one to take the hit financially, and Matt Hancock was the latest to have his say:
“Take a pay cut, play your part”
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has urged Premier League footballers to take a pay cut and make a contribution to help in the battle against coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/vZjVgB3BiJ
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 2, 2020
The problem here is that clubs tend to be owned by very rich people or groups – so they have much more capability to take a financial hit than many of the players do. It looks more like an attempt to ensure the richest maintain as much wealth as possible under the guise of being a business owner.
Of course most players will be rich men who could afford to take a pay cut, but it’s a bit strange to see them being singled out like this – especially when the news is filled with examples of players making donations and helping out communities – we don’t see any of that from the actual owners.
Gary Neville is never one to stay quiet either, and he’s taken a shot at Hancock on Twitter for his words:
I wish I was a player for 10 more mins.The PL players are more than likely working on a proposal to help clubs , communities and The NHS. It takes longer than 2 weeks to put together. Matt Hancock calling them out when he can’t get tests in place for NHS staff is a f@@@@@g cheek!
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 2, 2020
It’s also worth noting that Neville announced recently that his hotel would keep paying staff and would give up beds to NHS staff, so he’s also backed up his words with actions.
It’s yet another example of the political leaders protecting their true interests and trying to make a scapegoat out of an easy target, but let’s remember the clubs have a huge responsibility in this too.