The Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has defended players in England’s top-flight.
Premier League players launched a "collective initiative" to help generate funds for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom and distribute the funds "where they are needed most".
The initiative - named #PlayersTogether - has been set up to "help those fighting for us on the NHS frontline" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Premier League players felt they were being put into a corner, particularly by the government,” Taylor told the Keys & Gray Show.
“They saw the irony, even if they took a cut of third on their wages, that would be money lost to the government and the treasury. That would be counterproductive. They know the situation and they feel a little bit concerned that there is a lot of people in the world who do well. It’s not exactly a situation in the world where everyone is paid the same amount.”
Taylor also hit out at UK government Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Hancock has previously said players should “take a pay cut and play their part”. He last night posted on social media to say he welcomed the “big-hearted decision”.
“I don’t think people get the point where footballers do pay as you earn. From that point of view, they have their own commitments and liabilities, but they are prepared to contribute and to be part of the whole ethos of a club, which is about working together”
When further asked by Richard Keys whether Hancock was an opportunist, Taylor replied:
“I found it extraordinary really that the government doesn’t realise, although it should do on how much the game puts back into the economy. The money that football spends on its community initiatives, the tax that football pays. There are many other sportsmen, and the bankers who caused the trouble when the economy collapsed in 2008”.
“Footballers don’t hold a gun to clubs heads. They have reached the top of the mountain that has taken a long, long time and they get what they deserve. They are doing their bit for the NHS, which we are pleased to support.
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