Danny Peacock April 6, 2020

Premier League footballers came under scrutiny last week as the Secretary of State Matt Hancock suggested that ‘perhaps’ top flight footballers in England should give up their wages to allow the clubs that they play for to pay ‘other’ lower salaried staff not able to work during the ban on sports caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.

Clubs like Liverpool have made the controversial decision to furlough much of their staff during the outbreak which allows those on ‘usual’ salaries to receive government benefits during their time on lockdown and away from work.

But whilst it may seem morally wrong that footballers who are paid a huge salary already, to still get to keep 100% of their wages especially when they are not playing… It could do more harm than good when it comes to the taxes earned by these professionals to just ‘cut’ large chunks of their salaries on government advice in order to keep the peace and make them sound more heroic and in line with the rest of the UK.

Here’s why… As they say in America, let’s do the math!

Say a professional gets paid £100,000 a week. What you need to remember is that he gets TAXED 40% on that which means £40,000 of that wage will potentially go to the NHS along with other government criteria like HR wages, Schooling, Local Councils, Refuge etc etc… Quite a lot of money?

Now if, what is suggested these players take a 30% wage cut. That £100,000 a week then becomes £70,000 a week of which 40% will still be taxed which would then mount to total taxable profits of £28,000 to be paid back to our government. Still a lot of money yes, but a loss of £12,000 per player (on £100k) and £12,000 per player less than what the government would already get without players taking a wage cut!!!! So what is the point in potentially taking MORE money away from the NHS?

This is why the PFA and Premier League have failed to yet make an agreement but allowing footballers to take 100% of their wages, still get taxed 40% and then ‘optionally’ put another 10% into the NHS direct would be one way made worthy of our appraisal, but footballers have had bad press on this and they deserve better.

Individuals like Jordan Henderson need to be applauded for their stance and support for the NHS… Footballers like James McClean, often criticised (often by myself) another one who should be proud of what he’s done in buying PPE equipment for his local hospital in Derry.

It is simply not the case that all footballers are bad, and that these footballers don’t do enough when hundreds of our top stars earn more in charity per year than the likes of we would in a lifetime.

Football Clubs, the ones owned by rich Directors and multi-millionaire consortium’s are those instead that need to be looked at, the governing body like FIFA, UEFA, the FA, the Football League should all do there bit… But not just football… Other sports can take leaf, other businesses like Amazon and Google, largely unaffected businesses or businesses that profit through Covid-19 should also do more.

Our footballers ‘WILL’ give back but what we need to remember is that ‘this’ is not about football or footballers, this situation is much bigger than that and whilst ‘some’ of our top personalities will play their part in doing what they can to help when needed, sometimes doing less is more, whilst chucking a load of money at a situation is great, simply staying indoors could perhaps save even more lives too? Something the likes of Jack Grealish may one day learn to understand?

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