COVID-19: PFA says Premier League pay cuts will be ‘detrimental to NHS’

The Progessional Footballers’ Association (PFA) says proposals to cut Premier League players’ pay by 30 per cent could cost the NHS millions.

Yesterday, it was announced the Premier League wants players to take a 30 percent salary cut to help protect jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

But the PFA claims this would equate to more than £500 million in wage reductions which would in turn lead to a loss in tax contributions of more than $200 million to the UK government.

In a statement, the union said: “The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services – which are critical at this time.

“Taking a 30 per cent salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services.

“The proposed salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government.

“What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Heal Secretary, Matt Hancock, factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?”

The PFA says players “fully appreciate their role and responsibilities” during the current crisis and says they “care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship”.

READ MORE: Danny Rose says players are ‘keen to make something happen’

The union also said they believed the league’s proposed £20m donation could be higher.

Players have been speaking out about what measures they believe should be taken and have come under undue pressure to help financially with the pandemic.

Danny Rose says players keen to make something happen as PFA continues talks with Premier League
Happy to help – Danny Rose says players want to make something happen

These calls have increased as five Premier League clubs have now put non-playing staff on furlough leave under the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.

PFA: ‘We stress the need for solidarity between all clubs’

Talks are expected to go on with the PFA saying it is happy to continue discussions with the Premier League.

It added: “Many clubs require an increase in funding just to survive.

“We believe in our football pyramid and again stress the need for solidarity between all clubs.

“Going forward, we are working together to find a solution which will be continually reviewed in order to assess the circumstance of the Covid-19 crisis.”

A number of players have spoken out about how they are willing to help in any way they can.

Danny Rose, who is on loan at Newcastle from Tottenham, told BBC Radio 5 Live that they were ‘keen to make something happen’.

He added: “We sort of feel that our backs are against the wall. Conversations were being had before people outside of football were commenting.

“I’ve been on the phone to Jordan Henderson and he’s working so hard to come up with something.

“It was just not needed for people who are not involved in football to tell footballers what they should do with their money. I found that so bizarre.”

Yesterday, the Premier League warned it faces a £762 million penalty if the season does not resume and broadcasters demand refunds for games that cannot be shown.

What do you think about the PFA statement? Have players come under undue pressure to take a pay cut? What could they do instead to help out with the crisis?

Let us know by joining the discussion on our Facebook page here.

Katie Feehan
Born in Yorkshire, Katie is a freelance journalist currently based in York. As a keen sports writer, Katie has a diploma in Multimedia Journalism from the Press Association and has worked on the busy Newcastle Chronicle sports desk. She has also written for Gateshead FC and contributed to various websites including HITC and Give Me Sport.

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