Tottenham, the Champions League runners-up last season, and Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth, faced severe criticism for exploiting the government decision to pay 80 percent of the salaries of employees who are temporarily discharged from their jobs due to the “Coved-19” virus, provided that the salary cap does not exceed 2500 pounds Sterling ($ 3,000) a month.
“It is difficult to swallow that,” said legalian Julian Knight, who chairs the Commons Committee for Culture, Media and Sports, referring to the use of public funds for clubs to pay their employees’ salaries, adding: “What is happening is revealing the crazy economy of English football and the moral void that Its axis. ”
Bournemouth revealed that he decided to apply the temporary layoffs to “a number of his employees”, while CEO Neil Blake, technical team manager Richard Hughes, coach Eddie Howe and his assistant Jason Tendall, “decided to voluntarily cut a large portion of their salaries,” he announced.
And unlike some of the major clubs in Europe, such as Juventus, Italy, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich, it has not been announced yet any agreement between English clubs and players to reduce salaries.
Barcelona players agreed to reduce their salaries by 70 percent, in addition to a deduction rate to contribute to ensuring that the salaries of other employees of the club are paid in full during the crisis period, while Juventus announced on Saturday that his players and coach Maurizio Sari agreed to reduce their salaries in light of the suspension of the competition and all Sports activities in the country.
“We will see more of that.”
Jonas Bayer-Hoffmann, president of the International Professional Footballers’ Association, praised such initiatives, saying: “I think this very much shows that they (players) understand what is happening now, and frankly we will see more of that.”
In England, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy hoped that negotiations between the English Premier League and representatives of players and coaches would lead all sides to bear part of the economic responsibility imposed by the “Covid-19” virus, but the joint meeting that took place Wednesday between the Premier League, the English Football League and my link Professional soccer players and coaches, it was not auspicious as no agreement was reached.
The four agencies said in a joint statement: “No decisions have been taken today, and negotiations are scheduled to continue in the next 48 hours, focusing on many important matters, including players’ salaries and the resumption of the 2019-2020 season, “which stopped in mid-March. , With an initial date of return on April 30.
And to fulfill himself in an unenviable position, despite the decision he made two days ago to cut the salaries of his employees and administrators for the next two months by 20%, hoping that his players would follow his administration’s example due to the financial crisis caused by the outbreak of the Corona virus.
Levy said in a statement: “After taking steps to reduce costs, we made a tough decision, to protect jobs, by reducing the wages of all 550 non-players and managers for April and May by 20%. We hope that the talks between the Premier League, the Professional Players Association, and the Coaches Association On the participation of players and coaches for the sake of football. ”
“They should be the first to sacrifice their salaries.”
Levi’s announcement came about the reduction of the salaries of employees and administrators on the same day that it was revealed that he received 7 million pounds last season, including three million as bonuses resulting from the completion of works in the new stadium of the club despite the fact that the construction process exceeded the period and budget set for it.
As for London Mayor Siddik Khan, the Premier League players must contribute to overcoming this crisis, explaining to the BBC that “high-paying football players are people who can bear the greatest burden and must be the first to sacrifice their salaries With all due respect, instead of the person selling the program or the person providing the food. ”
But players can oppose the idea of unfairly highlighting them, and demand the payment of the bill instead of the multi-billion club owners.
Football financial expert Kiran Maguire said in an interview with “AFP” that politicians are taking advantage of football, explaining: “The criticisms themselves are not directed to the banking industry. They are not directed against lawyers who earn 10,000 pounds per day, to accountants, or money.” That go to external accounts in order to avoid paying taxes. ”
According to the list of the “Sunday Times” of the rich, the wealth of the owner of Tottenham, Joe Lewis, residing in the Bahamas, which is a haven of tax evasion, rose to 4.4 billion pounds last year.
“Joe Lewis himself has more than 4 billion pounds, and we are directing our arrows to (striker) Harry Kane, the young man whose career will end when he reaches his 35th year,” Maguire said.
Players do not want to be a victim of the current crisis, and later watch the clubs spend a lot of money when revenues start flowing again with life returning to normal.
This is what Gordon Taylor, executive director of the Professional Players Association, spoke about, saying: “It is ironic that the clubs postpone their obligations to the players, and then later recruit new players for a lot of money.”
But the transfers are now far from the minds of most CEOs who are just trying to make sure their clubs last for the next few months, according to Levy himself, saying: “When I read or hear stories about players’ transfers this summer as if nothing happened, people need to wake up To see the horror of what is happening around us. “