Should the fans be telling footballers what to do with their wages?

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….

41 Comments

  1. Shortboygooner says:

    Absolutely not. It’s a disgrace that fans are putting pressure on footballers. Yes they earn a bit more than the average joe and it will be amazing if they can help out. However, the real people who can make a difference is the guys who sign their pay checks. Stan kreonke, Usmanov, Abramovich. These guys have alot of money they they could use to make a real difference. Rather than upgrading their businesses and plotting their next buy. Show that you really care about your fans and look after the real people who make the game us fans who earn even less than your employees.

    I think the government should be putting a cap on employers claiming when they can afford it

    1. GB says:

      “They earn a BIT more than the average joe”!
      Are you on this planet?
      100 grand a week is more than the average joe earns in 5 life times.

    2. Donaldo says:

      A bit more than your average Joe.It would take a nurse 2 years to earn what Ozil earns in a DAY. Dont be so fucking stupid. People who work for the NHS save lives i have never seen a footballer say anyones life. If you honestly believe footballers deserve more than doctors and nurses you need your head examined

  2. Top Gunner says:

    Not at all. What i need from players is entertainment. I dont wanna know how they spend their money

    1. Kenny Rolfe says:

      You two obviously come from another generation What was that? A bit more than the average Joe, A disgrace to ask Multi Millionaire footballers to make a donation to the NHS. Ozil earned about £18 Million last year and you’re saying we shouldn’t ask footballers to take a wage, whilst the kids, who work in the food outlets on about £2.50 an hour are having their wages stopped and being told by clubs like Tottenham to claim benefit from the Government. So according to you it’s alright for Billionaires to help out but not Multi Millionaires. I assume both of you never go to football or subscribe to TV channels because if you did, you probably wouldn’t so quick defend players with selfish attitudes.

      1. Reggie says:

        Agree Kenny, they are role models and obviously their influence ans action are magnified. Ive lost my job, thousands have as well, people losing family and friends, very well paid protected players are under the spotlight. They are in a position to do lots to help and they should.

      2. RSH says:

        this is why our society is so broken. everyone is soley out for themselves, even when the entire world is suffering and people are barely making it by. Still, asking a millionaire who is not even currently doing their occupation, to take a temporary paycut comes off as asking for handouts and not being able to take care of yourself. It’s disgusting. I won’t forget this when football comes back. Only the La Liga clubs will come out of this looking good, and some other foreign ones.

        1. Reggie says:

          Agree RSH

    2. jon fox says:

      Top Gunner, “What you want ” eh? What an admission as to the sort of person you are. “What YOU want” at a time that tens of thousands are dying each week. But what you want is entertainment! What a cruel trick played on you and your future entertainment by all those people so inconveniently dying and speading the disease. But so glad you told us all what YOU WANT ! Now we know and we know a great deal about your character too.

    3. SueP says:

      Football players at the highest level earn between £2 and £20 million yearly and you don’t care as all YOU want is to be entertained. I have barely seen a football match since the advent of the PL and the subsequent ramping up of players’ salaries, that has entertained me sufficiently to warrant mega wages.

      I would rather not know how they spend their money either as this is a private matter. What is so telling though, is that it took a health crisis to embarrass these prima donas into doing something good for humanity. AND they had to be asked to do something.

      You should remember all the volunteers out there – helping the elderly with shopping, collecting medicines etc who earn a fraction of these handsomely paid young men and who signed up to do this work out of respect for the wonderful work of our health service. They are doing it for the national good, not just coining in their salaries until made to feel embarrassed by their greed. Yes, of course, there are admirable efforts made already by some footballers to get involved and for this they should be applauded.

  3. Jah son says:

    If doctors and nurses start making what footballers make then suddenly they will have to become miracle workers. Footballers pay isn’t a problem for government. The premier league is owned by the clubs so it could be looked at as entities getting the best players they can afford then gamble each other for the prize. I personally think players pay issue is the problem of a minority of fans as the wage scheme could be changed in an instant only for owners to honor existing contracts.
    The league could be cancelled this very afternoon the problem is there is a lot of gambling on the table and no club wants to lose.
    I fully agree that whilst football is on break due to the crisis if players are still collecting a full salary a percentage of players pay should go to charity. But then why isn’t this apart of players contracts.

    1. Reggie says:

      Why isnt it part of their contract? Because the contract is about them and how much they can get out of the boom in money that is flooding into the sport, or at least was. I will ask you who is most important in this life, a nurse or a footballer? Who gets more than they are worth and who doesn’t? I know they are both jobs that people are good at but there is something wrong when someone as important as a nurse gets so little reward compared to a footballer. Its the way of the world but the world needs a big look at itself in everything and hopefully the good that comes out of this shit, is we look far more carefully at what is good and right and what is not. A lot needs to change in this greedy world and attitudes need a readjustment. This virus will change everything in one way or another, hopefully for a better fairer society.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Reggie, an excellent review on how life has gone topsy turvy.

        Here we have, not only NHS workers, but care workers, transport workers carrying these wonderful people to work, firemen, policeman, pharmacists etc all being expected to work AND YET most have not been given the protective gear to ensure their own safety.

        At the same time, we have morons at a barbeque party, a pub keeping it’s doors open and idiots coughing and spitting at the essential services mentioned above.

        So much of what is “good and right” has disappeared from our society and these “spitting and coughing” yobs should be named, ashamed and denied any assistance if they contract coronavirus – football will be a casualty, but it has become so corrupt, it deserves to be.

        1. Reggie says:

          Very true Ken and very telling about how we prioritize things in this world.

      2. Jah son says:

        At Reggie
        No man is more important than the other to answer your dumb question. An pay is decided by employers. Instead of squirming about footballers pay why not advocate for doctors and nurses be paid as much.
        But no because this would leave too much people living a luxury life that most of us can’t afford.

        1. Reggie says:

          Cant disagree more with your stupid attitude jah. You obviously dont get the point, or dont want to.

      3. SueP says:

        Hi Reggie,

        A very interesting and well made post. Football has been a horror story of untold greed for a number of years. We are both of an age when football was part of our heritage, something handed down through the generations. It is entirely possible that when normality returns that we will aim to be part of a fairer society as you have suggested. I hope so, because it can’t be right that our NHS is not properly funded from the top to the bottom. It can’t be right that capitalism at its worst can be allowed to continue.

        1. Reggie says:

          Totally agree Sue, i think we will learn a lot from all this and i hope that good can come from all this crap. A cleaner world, a fairer world, a caring world, a not so financially important world. I wont hold my breath but we will learn a lot, for a while at least.

  4. ken1945 says:

    I believe that, as a member of the cabinet, their salaries are well over £100, 000a year.

    As they believe the minimum wage is what individuals can live on, let’s see them apply that figure to their weekly pay and donate the rest to the NHS.

    As for the footballers, a likewise gesture wouldn’t go ammisss for a few months either!!!

    1. Ian says:

      Yes a cabinet minister earns over a £100k a year. Compare that to Ozil who is paid £ 18m a year. Most Premier league players could easily give half a years wages to the NHS and still be wealthy. Its called greed.Football needs a reality check. Have a salary cap and cut the price of tickets

  5. jon fox says:

    An interesting and worthwhile article which brings to the fore two separate and, in a way,competing principles. Let me explain why. Firstly, Prem players have not only recently been taking home vast salaries way out of proportion to the contribution those players make to the sport and to society at large. (One caveat though, is that a large sum is taxed and received by HM Treasury to spend on society , including health and related matters.) Such vastly rewarded players have mostly been collecting huge wages – in a collective sense anyway – since the Prem was formed in 1992, a full 28 years ago. Most of those same players play between five to ten years in the Prem where the average wage is said to be approx £60-70 k pw , thus financially setting themselves up for life in a few measly years. The moral thing to do would be to voluntarily accept a huge and majority percentage permanent cut in wages, therefore, but they choose not to do this. Not until, that is, the vast recent public hostility has forced those Prem players, collectively, into serious talks, as yet still to conclude.

    The second and conflicting principle is freedom to decide how to run ones own affairs and to decide on a private and personal level exactly what, if anything, that individual may wish to contribute to society from his huge wage, Some players have long been doing so, away from publicity, which would embarrass them.

    Herein lies the difficulty I have as a free thinking liberal minded human. The whole basis of the philosophy of what is, often wrongly, called liberalism is whether one values liberality(or freedom) of the individual, over and above the liberalism of society as a whole.

    I want to make a separate but much related point for illustration, which is about the debate for “liberalisation” of drug laws. One prime reason that I as a liberal and also a democrat do not vote for the so called Lib Dems , is because of their drug policies, which are profoundly anti liberal to society at large, though they may be”liberal” to those who wish to consume drugs.
    These are again, two competing principles and ultimately we who care about humans and their lives, are FORCED to choose which of these two competing principles is the prime one. For me,it HAS to be society over the individual every time.

    Consequently -and though it is in some way treading on dangerous ground- my own life philosophy is that players en masse , if they fail to take a permanent wage cut, FAR in excess of 30% too, by themselves, should, and IMO will, be forced by society and changed attitudes to adopt a more moral wage. In an ideal, though fantasy world, I would prefer no mere footballer on Earth to take home more than £5000pw. But I am also a realist and of course know that will not happen.

    But for certain, from now onwards the world of grotequely paid and obscene player salaries, which almost ALL in the PREM are pocketing, though some are more obscene than others , will be under huge attack like never before. THIS GLADDENS MY HEART AND I SEE, very clearly, that out of this worldwide crisis something precious and thrilling may be about to return, even if not as thrilling and moral as I would prefer it to become.

    This is far wider a debate than merely football and even than merely sport. It will and already has, vastly affected many core businesses around the world and will go much futher down that road. I remain certain that a permanent change of human attitudes towards gross and grasping greed will force the scum who prize personal wealth above humanity, to have that greed forceably torn from their filthy, corrupt grip. Hurrah!

    1. Angus says:

      If society forces pay cuts on footballers it is a never ending process we would as a society have to decide ALL wages for everyone and is by its very nature tyranical and the antithesis of liberal. Then wed have to decide who decides such things or we’d all be voting 24/7 on the matter and we’d be left with something far corrupt that what we already have.

      1. jon fox says:

        Wrong conclusion by another person who totally misunderstnds the proper and real human meaning of liberalism. FYI, I have spent much of my life in political spheres and know what I am talking about. It is apparent to me that you do not. You are failing to compare like with like in your false assumption, as there are no more mass emotively attached human movements and subjects that compare in any similar way to top football teams and to the the one sided nature of fans to players relationship. A lazy and misguided argument you try but fail to make.

        1. Angus says:

          As usual you totally ignoe what i said and then we have another appeal to your greater authority whilst not once actually saying anything in regards to what the person before you said. So are you we should only limit footballers wages? If so why, if not who else? Who decides all this? How will this be enforced? How can you be sure that the rest society would not want extended to others? How would prevent the precedent from being abused further down the line? Have you even asked these questions? And you have the audacity to call my argument lazy. You don’t even understand what i was pointing out.

          1. Angus says:

            I was arguing very specifically against something very specific you advocated in your post namely society enforcing pay cuts and the implications therein. The rest of your assumptions say a lot about you and frankly your ego.

          2. jon fox says:

            LITTLE POINT IN FURTHER DIALOGUE BETWEN US AS YOU ARE ON A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAVELENGTH FROM ME IN LIFE AND HUMAN MATTERS . You are intent on being rude rather than really wanting an explanation, which I havegiven many times in my regular posts, if only youhad read them. But you have not and I will not be repeatimg my many long and detailed posts merely because you have missed them. If , which I much doubt, you truly ARE as interested in my reasons then you are welcome to scroll back to previous threads where I HAVEOFTEN DETAILED WHY I think as I do. Up to you.

    2. Reggie says:

      Agree Jon, good post.

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    My comment has vanished Admin? I didn’t swear or say anything offensive.

  7. ken1945 says:

    If someone has income and savings that make their lifestyle above the “average living wage” then they should set an example themselves and publicly commit to there supprt of thee NHS, not try to point the finger at others.

    Following the recent salary increase awarded to Parliament, a cabinet minister went from £134,565, to £141,505, whilst at the same time the P.M was going up from £142,500 to £149,440, plus of course, the outside interest that, it seems all politicians cannot do without…and here is an example of what these erstwhile gentleman, while running the country, find the time to work in other positions to supplement these measly wage:

    Jeremy Hunt, while Health secretary ,made a reported £500,000 a year from his business interest on top of his Cabinet salary – income that will have set him and his family up for like also, I would suggest?

    Matt Hancock, the man who calls on premier league players to take pay cuts with the following statement “Given the sacrifices many people are making, the first thing PL footballers can do is make a contribution”, has received an extra £32,000 from the chair of the IEA.

    So, what I was always taught as a youngster growing up, was don’t throw stones in glasshouses and it would be interesting to know what dear old Matt donates to charity, considering that he believes that (from11/3/20, £8.72 for over 25’s, down to £4.15 for an apprentice is sufficient to live on!!!

    I always smile when we see people with fortunes, appearing on adverts appealing for £2.00 a week for this or £3.00 a week for that, while we then see them at lavish events, without a care in the world, or I suggest, a thought about the NHS (they can afford private healthcare) or the poor and homeless.

    Of course, our overpaid and pampered premier league footballers should set an example, but shouldn’t Matt, Boris,
    Jeremy etc etc etc do the same and dip in to their overloaded pockets??

    We Gooners are well aware of the charity work that Ozil does (please don’t start on the named player-it is an example only) but I am unaware of any contributions by Matt, despite trolling the internet – not saying he doesn’t, but it is usually really easy to find these things out.

    As a socialist (not the Corbin type of course) I believe we all should be judged by our own actions, so come on Matt and all you other top earners, show us what you are doing to help the NHS on a personal basis, before calling out anyone else for their perceived inactions.

    1. Jah son says:

      At ken 1945
      And this is why I say football fans in their thousands would help the system by starting a pressure campaign from the very top. Fans cherry picking criticizing players are at the edge of also asking how much certain players contributions are simply because they have access to ones earnings.
      No one on this site knows what the other is worth. Players are people too.

    2. Reggie says:

      Agree with that ken.

  8. RSH says:

    They can do what they want with their money, but i personally think it’s absolutely gross. It’s no better than a CEO giving himself a payrise while laying off workers lower on the chain. You can make whatever argument you like, it just seems like human decency to forfeit some of your wages so the organization you represent can get by and pay the rest of the staff. What human being actually needs 100k a week? Nobody. Every single EPL player will come out of this mess still massively rich. lets not even get into how the FA is only asking for a pay deferral, not even a pay cut. Barca players are taking a 70% cut and they are not complaining. Often times the right thing to do is obvious. Shame on all these players, and they’re really showing their colors.

    1. Reggie says:

      Agree RSH.

    2. RSH says:

      Also, I dont buy the excuse that the players are making sure their money doesn’t disappear when their wages are cut. It’s such a lazy excuse. And if they really wanted to make an effort and impact they wouldn’t need the PFA telling them what to do. It’s their money and if they want to donate their weekly wages to the cause of their choice they can do that themselves. Nothing stopping them. Yet how many players have coughed up some of their cash? I cannot name many. Someone will say anonymous donations, I will just laugh.

      1. jon fox says:

        RSH, Exactly my view too. It is lazy and cowardly to wait to see what others do first. TAKE THE LEAD AND DO WHAT IS MORALLY RIGHT IF YOU HAVE ANY MORAL FIBRE. Cowards hide behind others; those who have moral courage come to the fore first when the chips are down.

        However, it needs noting that many players ARE decent people and will willingly give up a substantial part of their salary. There is a massive difference between on the one hand, such as Ben Foster and on the other hand,such as Pogba. Prem footballers are not all the same and neither is any other group of 500-1000 who merely have an occupation in common. No person of normal intelligence with compassion and moral fibre needs to be told by others to do what is right.

        1. jo franks says:

          To Jon Cox and Angus. I agree and disagree with you both. I don’t earn much but I am donating money to animal shelters and helping those less fortunate.

          1. Sue says:

            Good for you, Jo 👍👍

        2. ken1945 says:

          Yet RSH and Jon, when I produced an article regarding the charity work of one of our players, it was greeted by some as completely irrelevant, because that wasn’t anything to do with said players performance on the field.

          We can all bang our chests and denounce our over priviliged premier league players, but they are a
          easy targets.

          We should be lokking at society as a whole, as RSH indicated in an earlier post.

          The problem is, Thatcher once said there is no such thing as a society and then went out and destroyed it.

          The “look after number one” attitude stems from that view and singling out one overpaid group while ignoring others (bankers, directors, politicians, actors/actresses to name a
          few) distracts us from the overall picture…the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

          No one is arguing that players have a role to play, not even the players themselves – but when a politician, who has the gall to say £8.00 odd is a perfectly adequate minimum wage, living in the lap of luxury, hasn’t done the self same thing by showing us what he has put back into the pot, one just wonders at the sheer hypocrisy of the

          1. ken1945 says:

            sheer hypocrisy of the rich and spoilt yobs, who do pecular things with the head of a pig!!!!

  9. jo franks says:

    I cannot believe how ignorant Wayne Rooney is!! Complaining about a wage reduction. If he had any decency he would donated thousands to the NHS. Loser

  10. Derek Moody says:

    What we forget is actual wage cut means lost revenue to the tax man. Lots of our footballers already involved with their own charities. The real culprits are the multi million pound owners who could afford to give money but are choosing not to in most circumstances. Whatever happens, when the world comes out of this football will look different I think

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