talkSPORT favourite Ally McCoist has called for Premier League stars to follow the lead Rangers took when they were in administration in 2012 and save the jobs of non-playing staff in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Gers legend was in charge of the Scottish Premiership giants during their period of financial crisis eight years ago.
And in order to ensure regular staff members did not lose their jobs, every member of the first-team squad took a wage cut.
It is a decision McCoist calls one of the proudest moments he made during his time at Ibrox, hence his disbelief now that that big clubs, such as Tottenham, are putting non-playing staff on furlough in the current climate.
They are not the only Premier League side to have taken advantage of the Government-led scheme, that allows up to 80 per cent of wages to be paid by the state.
And that is not something that sits well with the former Scotland striker.
“Something we were very proud of when we went into administration up at Rangers was the fact that the playing staff, the coaching staff and managerial staff rightly took a wage cut to save the jobs of everybody else in the staff,” he told talkSPORT.
“One of the most pleasing things to come out of that horrendous situation was the fact we managed to keep everybody’s jobs.
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.
“Obviously players left the club eventually on freedom of contract, but to be fair to them, everybody took a wage cut.
“When I am sitting looking at the whole thing, it’s not about Spurs or Manchester United and Liverpool, it’s about the clubs away down the pyramid that are going to struggle to survive. The community clubs.
“Let’s be honest, the big clubs will survive. It’s the clubs further down the pyramid that I’m really concerned for, and if the clubs nearer the top can’t chip in and help everybody then we’ve no chance.”
Describing the time a Rangers staff member was on the verge of losing his job, McCoist added: “I remember one of the older lads, and when I say older lads I don’t mean a player, an older member of staff … he was in tears.
“I was talking to him about quarter to eight in the morning one day and he was telling me he was going to lose his job.
“I had a look at it and he was only in three or four days and on a couple of hundred quid a week.
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
PL season 'to finish in China', English football could cancel leagues like Belgium
Chelsea team up with domestic abuse charity Refuge
Fabregas snubs Guardiola as he reveals the best manager he has worked with
'If clubs can afford to pay their players and staff they should,' PFA claim
Lineker hits out at Tottenham's approach to dealing with coronavirus pandemic
Ultimate QuaranTeam: Middlesbrough knocked out of quarter-finals of FIFA tournament
'None have objected' – Coutinho's agent says his clients haven't vetoed pay cut
From Balotelli to Lovren… An XI formed of terrible Liverpool signings under Rodgers
“I’m thinking ‘this absolutely cannot be right, that’s his job, he’s been doing it for years and we’re going to pay him off rather than get rid of a player or ask a player or management to take a wage cut’.
“So eventually we did get that sorted and to the credit of the players and the staff, they took a cut and everybody at that particular time kept their job.”
And now McCoist wants a united front from the current crop of high-profile footballers to ensure these staff members’ jobs don’t come under serious threat.
“It’s not a massive thing, it’s just what people should be doing to gather around and help each other,” he stressed.
“We keep going on about, and rightly so, the NHS workers, essential workers, pharmaceuticals and all these guys and girls out doing an unbelievable job.
“They’re just doing their bit for us, so if everybody can’t mix and do a bit for each other then what chance have we got?”