Gary Lineker has hit out at his former club Tottenham for their decision to furlough 550 members of their non-playing staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Tottenham are among four Premier League clubs to announce a furlough of behind-the-scenes staff – which involves a reduction in their salaries to 80 per cent – whilst their players’ lucrative deals remain intact.
And Lineker, who will donate two months’ wages to the British Red Cross, has been unimpressed with the Premier League side’s approach to dealing with the global health crisis.
Lineker told BBC Radio 4’s ‘World at One’: “The way Tottenham have handled it I don’t think has been very good – what they are doing to their staff I don’t agree with whatsoever.
“But that is a separate issue to what the players do. It’s the club that has said that the players are going to carry on with their wages, but let’s see how the players react to it.”
The former England striker also said he expected top-flight players to step up and do their bit to contribute to the coronavirus crisis.
Players across Spain and Italy have agreed voluntary pay-cuts with the entire Barcelona squad, led by Lionel Messi, agreeing to 80 per cent reductions while the coronavirus crisis continues.
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.
And Lineker urged patience in respect of the response of Premier League stars, insisting: “I think a lot of footballers will do something, and I think there will be a lot of announcements at clubs.
“My inkling is that footballers will take pay cuts, they will help out in communities, they will make donations in whatever way they can, and I think we need to be a little bit patient with them.”
Reflecting on his own decision to make a charity donation, Lineker added: “I’ve decided that I’m going to donate two months’ net salary to the British Red Cross, who are on the frontline trying to help in all sorts of different ways.
“Hopefully other people who are in a position of relative wealth can do something similar.”