Premier League players union says pay cut would harm health service

MANCHESTER: the players' union it represents Premier league footballers have questioned the league's call for a 30% pay cut amid the coronavirus crisis, saying it would reduce tax revenue for the National Health Service.

Player representatives of the 20 Premier league clubs and officials from the Association of professional footballers (PFA) union met with the Premier league on Saturday.

The clubs agreed on Friday to consult their players about a combination of conditional salary reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of the total annual payment.

Saturday's talks were not described as a negotiation and a decision was not expected, but the PFA issued a statement questioning the logic of the league's stance.

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Players are aware that ... the combined tax on their wages is a significant contribution to finance essential public services, which are especially critical at the moment, the statement said.

Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Treasury substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government funded services.

The PFA added that the proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period would equal more than £ 500 million ($ 613.00 million) in salary reductions and a loss in tax contributions of more than £ 200 million to the government.

"What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier league proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?" the union asked in their statement.

The union, which is mainly funded via Premier league broadcast revenue payments, said that the players were discussing how they could make a contribution during the pandemic crisis.

"All Premier league players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times," the statement said.

"All Premier league players fully appreciate their role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis. They care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship at the moment."