Premier League stars DEMAND clubs prove they need to impose 30% pay cut after ‘intense’ video conference meeting where only Kevin de Bruyne, Troy Deeney and Mark Noble were permitted to speak
- Premier League captains are sceptical over motives of clubs enforcing pay cuts
- Captains fear clubs are using crisis as an excuse not to fulfil financial obligations
- Players want guarantees that money recouped will go towards good causes
- Captains want showdown talks with Premier League executives as row goes on
Premier League captains want showdown talks with club executives as the simmering row over pay cuts hurtles towards mutiny.
Following what has been described as an ‘intense’ 45 minute video conference meeting, which included skippers and managers, on Saturday afternoon in which proposals for players to take 30 percent pay reductions were relayed, there is an emerging scepticism and anger from players over the plans.
The discussions, during which Kevin De Bruyne, Troy Deeney and Mark Noble were the only three players permitted to speak, left captains doubting the motives of their employers, with many concerned clubs are simply using the current crisis as an excuse not to fulfil their financial obligations to playing and non-playing staff.
Premier League captains want showdown talks with club executives over proposed pay cuts
A 45-min video conference meeting, including captains and managers, was held on Saturday
Kevin De Bruyne, Troy Deeney and Mark Noble were the only three players permitted to speak
And club skippers want discussions with club executives this week to detail exactly why a 30 percent salary reduction is necessary, while they will also seek guarantees that the money recouped goes to good causes – including the NHS.
Players also want assurances that the non-footballing staff will remain employed.
That could leave leading boardroom figures in the difficult position of trying to explain why the cuts are needed – not necessarily an easy task given Premier League clubs turnover hundreds of millions, while some teams are valued in excess of £1billion.
The fact a number of top-flight sides are owned by multi-billionaire businessmen has only heightened the scepticism.
The proposals laid out by the Premier League are only recommendations and cannot be enforced. Indeed, each club can adapt the 30 percent reduction plan to their own circumstances.
Daniel Levy has come in for criticism after Tottenham put their non-playing staff on furlough
The same can be said for Newcastle owner Mike Ashley as the coronavirus crisis grips football
PFA chairman, Gordon Taylor, also had his say during Saturday’s 45-minute video call
For example, as Sportsmail revealed on Friday, Manchester United players plan to give the entirety of one month of the 30 percent drop to local hospitals and health centres.
Sportsmail knows of one club, prior to Friday’s talks between all 20 Premier League clubs and Saturday’s captain-led discussions, who have tried to negotiate a 35 percent pay cut with its playing staff last week, only to discover division bosses were working towards a lower recommendation. Understandably, that has only added to the suspicion.
The Premier League are adamant that the limit for cuts and deferrals is 30 per cent over a maximum of 12 months. That would be reviewed a monthly basis. It is understood chief executives and chairman will also agree to the same cuts.
Saturday’s meeting ended with no agreement over the 30 percent pay decrease plan, with no further talks in the pipeline effectively meaning clubs must sort out the issue on their own.
A captain’s Whatsapp group has been set-up so players can discuss matters between them
After Saturday’s conference call, it is understood a number of the captains held their own talks where it was decided they must stay united throughout the process, while a skippers WhatsApp group is also believed to have been set-up.
The players involved during Saturday’s talks immediately contacted other senior professionals at their respective clubs for their opinions. Those in-house discussions between senior playing members will continue this morning before the proposals and the best way to proceed is relayed to the wider squad.
The captains were told the scale of the financial crisis through a presentation by Premier League executive Bill Bush; while Professional Footballers Association chief Gordon Taylor also had his say.
It was spelt out to players that the clubs stand to lose a total of up to £1.1bn if the season does not restart. The proposed 30 percent wage reductions could help save £570million.
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