Townsend beats UK health minister for 'blaming' footballers

LONDON: Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend accused the British government's Health Secretary of shifting blame on footballers after Matt Hancock they said they should take a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis.

Tottenham, Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth They have said they will use a government scheme to guarantee 80 percent of the salaries of non-gambling staff up to a maximum of £ 2,500 ($ 3,100, 2,850 euros) per month.

Such moves have elicited angry responses from politicians, as no cuts have been agreed so far for high-income players.

Citing the ultimate sacrifice made by staff in Britain's National Health Service who had died from the coronavirus while treating patients, Hancock called for players, in some cases earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, to take a pay cut.

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He said: I think the first thing Premier league footballers can make a contribution, cut wages, and play their part.

Talks between the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and clubs about pay cuts are ongoing, and the PFA insisted Thursday that they are aware that their members must share the financial burden.

But Townsend said the footballers, many of whom have already made significant charitable donations during the crisis, were easy targets for ministers.

Soccer is trying to do a lot of good, he told Talksport radio on Friday.

Waking up yesterday and seeing the footballers being painted as villains was a surprise.

The Secretary of Health, diverting the blame to the soccer players. I don't think it's correct. Your job is the responsibility of the NHS workers.

NHS workers have been underpaid for years. Only 2,000 of them have been able to be tested for coronavirus.

He (Hancock) goes out and turns to easy goals, footballers, and that doesn't sit well with me.

However, the Eagles winger accepted that footballers had a role to play in a time of financial hardship.

We are in a very privileged position, he said.

The community effectively pays our wages. At a time like this we have to give back.

Townsend added that he agreed with the PFA's position that if clubs can afford to continue paying their non-license-playing staff, then they should.

If players end up accepting a pay cut or a deferral and a few days later, the PFA finds that these clubs can continue to pay non-playing staff and decide not to, who benefits? he said.

The NHS is not benefiting, these heroes are not benefiting.

English football is currently suspended until April 30, but a Premier league meeting on Friday is expected to further delay a return to action with Britain in a state of lockdown in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.