How can pay cut rebels look the lowly paid in the eye?

There has been much debate about highly paid footballers rejecting pay cuts and whether they are justified in taking such a stance under the current circumstances.

Obviously, Mesut Ozil stands out for Arsenal but it is not just him, it is about all the other players that are keeping their hands firmly in their pockets, for example, Chelsea players and where are the Tottenham players or Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool etc in all this?

It is also nothing to do with the NHS, it never was and to suggest it was, with respect is misinformation. Every club statement, including Arsenal’s, has made that clear, it was always about keeping clubs afloat and helping the clubs lower paid.

There is no respect from me for those players, to me, it is indefensible.

I watched a recent Sunday Supplement episode and it had three well-known journalists on there, Henry Winter, John Cross and Martin Samuel and all three had some good things to say, though John Cross, who incidentally defended Mesut Ozil passionately, is widely regarded by Arsenal fans as full of bull, certainly on here judging by the comments.

Samuel expressed his disappointment that the players refused pay cuts, he admitted he never saw it coming and thought that they would be more than happy to help the clubs out. He also added that the NHS has never ever had so much money being thrown at it and simply does not need cash from the players, it is the clubs that need the help.

But it was the comments from the highly respected Henry Winter, a winner of many international journalism awards, that I found the most compelling.

He basically asked how the players could look the lowly paid club workers and their fans, who are suffering unimaginably right now, in the eyes when they simply refused to stand shoulder to shoulder with them at this time.

Winter also pointed out that it is also about unity and that players should stand together as a whole, obviously not at Arsenal with three players preferring to keep their money and not give a fig about squad unity.

The players have disgracefully tried to use the NHS as some sort of excuse to avoid helping their own club out, and it is very sad that some Arsenal fans find it necessary to defend this indefensible position.

The pay cut was always about the club and never about the NHS and it is wrong in my opinion to try and conflate the issues, though I have no doubts that if it was Shkodran Mustafi or Granit Xhaka that had refused to take a pay cut that this would never ever be an issue and they would be rightfully condemned by Arsenal fans.

Tags pay cuts


  1. Well MARTIN, at last we can fully agree and how nice to be able to do so at long last. Hopefully it will last! You make the point that I and many others have also made about a false and misleading link being wrongly made between far too high wages in general and the hasty HANCOCK comment,made for political reasons and rather immaturely too, IMO. A costly own goal for little Matt then, methinks!
    What players choose or choose not to do individually towards donations to the NHS is for them ALONE to decide and is no ones elses business.
    HOWEVER ,the moral imperative to vastly lower ALL Prem wages across the board is a moral responsibility that they can be charged with and found guilty in the court of public opinion.
    And never more relevant than now, in the midst of this virus. In THAT sense ONLY there is a sort of link in some peoples minds but not in those minds who think logically and can see the two separate subjects.
    In short a moral link of sorts then highlighted by the massive widespread recognition of who are real heroes in society and who are NOT. NO PRIZES FOR GUESSING WHICH ARE NOT!
    The next part of my authorities, player, and fan morality articles will go closely into this very obscenity of player wages , which has been getting steadily more obscene and harmful for decades already. I will also explain why THIS VIRUS is our best and perhaps last real chance to turn the clock back.

  2. My only point is and I’ve raised it before is that there really must have been compelling reasons for the executive level, manager and coaches to agree to take a 30% cut in the first place. I’m no Kroenke lover and I sincerely hope that all the staff were given assurances that he would be putting in his own money too. It shouldn’t be the case of him offloading his financial responsibilities on to the players just because they earn the most.

    However, Anders in a previous article made good points about the viability of not only Arsenal but the majority of clubs if cuts to wages are not made. He described football as being on stand by and this means without football there is no income. What does a contract amount to if the business goes bust?

  3. It’s utter bunkum to blame players for bad business decisions taken by the club. Since your admiration for some of these journos is verging on cult status, one will like to know the pay cuts they’ve taken over the yrs in a fast shrinking industry?
    The “look into another player’s eye” sentiment is claptrap & an attempt at emotional blackmail.

  4. Gabo you talk crap players wages have been getting out of control for years. No player is worth £300,000 a week that is obscene. Ordinary people slog 35 hours just to keep afloat. They run around a pitch for 90 minutes then they moan we are too many matches too soon we need a rest join the real world

    1. towny 254, the point is though, premier league footballers live in THEIR world, just as bankers live in their worlds, billionaires live in their world and the media live in their world…in fact, the “real world” is simply the one that each individual finds themselves in at any given time.

      One thing this pandemic has done, is bring into the open the complete injustice of our society, but if you were lucky enough to be in any of the above “worlds”, would you want to see any changes?

      That is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer – it has been so since time began, long before premier league players were offered and accepted grotesque and obscene salaries.

      1. Written as a true Socialist Ken. And your not wrong at all. Even now we see Richard Branson begging for a Government bailout for his airline despite him being a multi-billionaire. Footballers, not all, but most, are under the spotlight more than they have ever been, and quite rightly so. Never before has the ever widening gap in reality of income difference been so obviously apparent. NHS and other frontline workers ( including, I know, your own Grandson) are putting their lives on the line for a tiny fraction of what the higher paid footballers earn, and this is wrong. Will the ever widening gap be addressed at some point in the near future? We would all believe so but not to the extent that will make that much of a difference I suspect.
        At age 63 and counting, I thought I had ( with the obvious exception of World Wars) live through it all. This Pandemic is like nothing I have ever known and most likely will never know in the future. It’s very difficult not to be political in what ever thoughts we all have, but one issue that MUST be addressed, ( in addition to AdMartins sense of humour of course), is just how vital our Frontline Services are to not only this country but to every single nation on this earth. The very vast majority get up in the morning and struggle to find things to do each day. The heroic Frontline, including our own beloved Sue, are having to go to work through this nightmare and putting their lives on the line for us all. That is some thing to do Ken, and it’s a testament to their bravery and commitment that they will continue to fight the battle, in the trenches, while we all spend our time waiting for our lives to get back to normal.
        Two things have dramatically altered my own way of thinking this morning. The first was Simon Jordan’s comments, that brutally brought home the fact that Football MUST be totally secondary while these times are with us. The second was the article posted by Jon that was constructed and delivered in a way that even our very best politicians have failed to do. It was THAT GOOD. Will Parts 2, 3 and however many are to follow bring us the same though provoking understanding of life in these times, as that what was? Knowing Jon the answer will be yes.
        Some times you just cannot ignore something that you find yourself reading, watching or simply participating in. Today, two very normal guys in Simon Jordan and Jon Fox have said more in their statements than many leading experts or Politicians have been able to manage in weeks.
        Will money talk in the end? Probably, as you are so right that the rich will find a way of still making money during this crisis, but will this lead to a backlash against them in the future? I hope so, and would welcome Jon’s thoughts on this in the follow ups to today’s Article.

        1. Both yours and Ken’s posts are heartfelt and I agree with much of what you both have written. All I will add is that I am not a socialist but what I am is a person who doesn’t have a problem with entrepreneurs making a good living. Without them we wouldn’t advance. I’m not a Branson apologist but he came up with the Virgin brand which is part of the fabric of our lives and has employed an awful lot of people. Everyone needs a bail out the moment. I trust his pension scheme is better than the repulsive Philip Green who only cares about himself. There are decent wealthy (Bill Gates) and it is not fair to tar everyone with the same brush. However, that doesn’t alter the fact if you are well fixed financially then you’ll be likely to be well fixed after this is over.
          What has made me more aware than I have ever been in my 63 years is how much we shouldn’t value money for money’s sake and should value more the efforts all decent people to society. My nephew is on the front line in a Birmingham hospital in acute care. Never have I been in so much awe of him and all his NHS family, social care compatriots and just about everyone else who are decent human beings. Sad to say, there will always be the leeches who look after numero uno.

      1. Sue, brilliant link and I will also be donating – who says that football does no good in this money grabbing world?

    1. Thanks for this Sue. We rarely allow links on this site via the comments, however, on this occasion I obviously approved your comment and it has sparked a conversation between Pat, Patrick and myself, that is all I will say for now.

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