Leading politicians say Newcastle United, Tottenham, Norwich and Bournemouth are in 'moral vacuum' and players should sacrifice salary

Several high-ranking politicians have stated footballers should be first to sacrifice salaries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 1:05 pm
Leading politicians say Newcastle United, Tottenham, Norwich and Bournemouth are in 'moral vacuum' and players should sacrifice salary

Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, has criticised the actions of some Premier League clubs, who have furloughed non-playing staff.

Newcastle United Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich have opted to use the Government's job retention scheme which will see ground-level staff paid 80% of their wage.

And Knight is concerned the scheme is not being used in the right manner.

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"It sticks in the throat," he said. "This exposes the crazy economics in English football and the moral vacuum at its centre."

"This isn't what it's designed for. It's not designed to effectively allow them to continue to pay people hundreds of thousands of pounds, while at the same time furloughing staff on hundreds of pounds.

"I don't know whether or not the Treasury can legally turn down these applications.

"But at the same time, I think football needs to have a good, long, hard look at itself and see whether or not morally this is really right and whether or not actually what they need to do is come to an arrangement with some of their stars so they can continue to pay their [non-playing] staff 100% of their wages rather than furloughing them on 80%."

Players at Championship table-toppers Leeds United have already volunteered to take a wage deferral, with Birmingham City also asking players who earn more than £6,000 a week to take a 50% cut for the next four months.

Indeed, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan believes top-flight players should be the ones to "carry the burden".

"My view is always that those who are the least well-off should get the most help," he said BBC Radio 5Live.

"Highly paid football players are people who can carry the greatest burden.

“And they should be the first ones to, with respect, sacrifice their salary, rather than the person selling the programme or the person who does catering or the person who probably doesn't get anywhere near the salary some of the Premier League footballers get.”