In these times of trouble and strife, it has become a fad to compare how much footballers earn alongside the wages given to the nursing angels and doctors that are in the front line of our fight against coronavirus. Of course, wages have always been a bugbear amongst Arsenal fans in relation to Mesut Ozil, but no one can deny that the German midfielder also contributes many of his millions to help the poorer sections of society around the world.
Now it is the turn of all footballers to be asked to justify why they deserve such enormous sums, and are implored to take compulsory wage cuts to help the millions that are really suffering at the moment. But is no one taking into account that the players are human too, and are well aware of the current situation destroying the lives of so many people
The problem is that, no one has really asked the players what they are going to do with their money, and the fact is they are also trying to co-ordinate a way to help, and perhaps don’t need the fans to be denigrating their actions before they have had a chance to do something themselves. As Danny Rose said on the BBC: “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.”
There are certain government members who are calling for official action against clubs, especially as some are taking advantage of the furlough scheme for non-playing staff, but cannot impose wage cuts on players, while the PFA (Players Union) have told the players to not agree to anything until the union has got involved.
Jermaine Jenas made a good point about a club-imposed wage cut would not necessarily be a good thing for the country, whereas a coordinated player response could be more beneficial: “Their hearts are in the right place – they wanted to have control over where money goes,” he said.
“Essentially, if the players take a wage cut, the beneficiaries are the clubs. Their main concern is what is happening to this money. They are happy to put money into a pot, rather than it just vanishing.
“They want to have an influence as to where this money is going. Is it going to the NHS, school meals? They want control over that. They don’t want to be dictated to by the Premier League – they don’t want to have no idea where the money’s gone.”
So, it sounds like the players have got plans to make a difference where they can, so maybe us fans should stop criticizing footballers until we see what they actually come up with….