London » English Premier League football professionals have declined a 30 percent salary cut due to the coronavirus crisis.
The players union PFA justified the attitude with the fact that with this step the English government lost around £ 200m (227m euros) in tax money over a period of twelve months. “That would be at the expense of our national health service NHS or other government-supported services,” said the PFA in a statement.
The Premier League clubs had agreed to ask the players for a 30 percent waiver. If the season couldn’t be ended, the league might have to return £ 762m (£ 866m) to the TV rights holders. “The players are aware that the combined tax on their salaries makes a significant contribution to the financing of essential public services – which are currently particularly important,” said the PFA statement. Further details are necessary for such a step. The PFA also complained that the £ 20 million donation to the NHS was not enough.
The PFA stance raised criticism accordingly. Oliver Dowden, State Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, wrote on Twitter that people want to see “no struggles within our national sport” in times of crisis. “Football must do its part to ensure that sport understands the pressure that its low-paying employees, communities and fans are exposed to.”