Highly-paid footballers should be the first people to take pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Football matches have been suspended until at least April 30 with the deadly disease claiming 2,352 lives in the UK so far.
On Tuesday, Tottenham furloughed 550 of their non-playing staff, meaning they will earn 80 per cent of their salary during the crisis thanks to the government’s scheme.
And Spurs said there would be an expectation that players and coaches would ‘do their bit to help the football ecosystem’.
The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association are in talks regarding a possible collective agreement on wage deferrals.
Khan believes those deferrals should have happened before clubs relied on the government.
He told BBC Sport: ”Highly-paid football players are people who can carry the greatest burden and they should be the first one to, with respect, sacrifice their salary, rather than the person selling the programmes or the person who does catering or the person who probably doesn’t get anywhere near the salary some of the Premier League footballers get.
“It should be those with the broadest shoulders who go first because they can carry the greatest burden and have probably got savings, rather than those who were in catering or hospitality who have probably got no savings and live week by week and who probably won’t get the (government) benefits for five weeks.”
Khan also sent a letter to 10 London clubs in the first and second divisions asking them to help the NHS.
The letter said: “London is currently at the forefront of the UK’s response to slow the spread of coronavirus, and the Greater London Authority (GLA) is working hard to help support the NHS in London,” the Mayor of London wrote to clubs.
“Whilst the NHS is currently doing a fantastic job in responding to the crisis, NHS staff are already feeling the additional strain, and that is why we need to give them the time, space and support they need to save the lives of Londoners.
Give COVID-19 the red card
The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…
STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:
- to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
- to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
- for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary
For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.
The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
“I am clear that I will do everything I can to support the capital during the coronavirus crisis, and that means giving the NHS the vital resources it needs to treat those in need.
“This is where I hope football clubs across London will be able to help.”
“I do not take such requests lightly, and I appreciate that this is a big ask in what is currently a challenging and uncertain time for many of London’s football clubs.
“However, I am clear that we all need to unite and do what we can to support the NHS and protect the lives of Londoners in these most challenging of circumstances.”
Khan wrote to Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and West Ham, along with Championship clubs Brentford, Fulham, Charlton, Millwall and QPR.
Tottenham did not receive a letter in this round as they are already working with City Hall.