Former England International and Red Devil’s all-time leading goal scorer Wayne Rooney, who now play for second tier Derby County is furious over call for premier league players to agree to pay cut over covid-19. He specifically called ‘a disgrace’ the statement by the UK Health Secretary for players to agree to pay cut. He felt he had to speak for the rest of his players , since they have been made an easy target in the ongoing fight against covid-19 crisis.
Rooney wrote in the Times: “How the past few days have played out is a disgrace. First the health secretary, Matt Hancock, in his daily update on coronavirus, said that Premier League players should take a pay cut. He was supposed to be giving the nation the latest on the biggest crisis we’ve faced in our lifetimes. Why was the pay of footballers even in his head? Was he desperate to divert attention from his government’s handling of this pandemic?
“The Premier League then announced it was looking for its players to give up or defer wages by 30%. This despite owners and the Premier League board knowing players were already deep in discussion about what their contribution should be. It seemed strange to me because every other decision in this process has been kept behind closed doors, but this had to be announced publicly. Why? It feels as if it’s to shame the players — to force them into a corner where they have to pick up the bill for lost revenue.”
He continues: “I’m talking about footballers, people I have shared dressing rooms with. The pressure put on them is not acceptable and I need to speak up for them. At the moment it’s almost a free-for-all: it’s like the government, Premier League and sections of the media have set the players up to fall.”
He added: “For the Premier League to just announce the proposal, as it has done, increases the pressure on players and in my opinion it is now a no-win situation: if players come out and say they can’t agree or are not willing to cut by 30%, even if the real reasons are that it will financially ruin some, it will be presented as ‘Rich Players Refuse Pay Cut’.
“Whatever way you look at it, we’re easy targets. What gets lost is that half our wages get taken by the taxman. Money that goes to the government, money that is helping the NHS.”
The Premier League and all major football leagues are suspended indefinitely amid the coronavirus outbreak.