Premier League football clubs have been urged to cut their player salaries before asking for tax dollars to pay non-playing staff during the coronavirus crisis.
Tottenham Hotspur sparked anger on Tuesday when they announced they would call for a government program to use public funds to pay 80% of off-pitch employee salaries.
The government’s job retention program pays employees unable to work due to COVID-19[female[feminine epidemic 80% of their monthly salary up to a maximum of £ 2,500.
The Premier League season is currently on hold as the government urges people to stay at home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said he would “reduce the remuneration of the 550 directors and non-playing employees by 20% for April and May using the government’s leave program, where appropriate.”
The action was announced the same day it was revealed Mr Levy had earned a £ 3million bonus last year, as part of his £ 7million earnings, for the delivery of the new club stadium.
The Tottenham squad includes players such as England captain Harry Kane, who is said to earn up to £ 200,000 a week, and French captain Hugo Lloris, who is said to earn more than £ 100,000 a week.
Bahamian-based businessman Joe Lewis, estimated at over £ 4 billion, has a controlling stake in Tottenham.
The other Premier League clubs, Newcastle and Norwich, have also chosen to use the government’s job retention program for their non-playing staff.
On Tuesday, Mr Levy expressed his hope that talks between the Premier League and player and coach unions would result in “players and coaches doing their part for the football ecosystem”.
But senior politicians have told clubs they should have sought a deal with their stars on the pitch first before slashing salaries for their non-playing staff and asking for government help.
Tory MP Julian Knight, chairman of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee, said: “Staff on leave are essential for small clubs, but big ones in the Premier League should seek to reach a fair deal with their stars before moving on to the taxpayer. “
He also accused English football of operating in a “moral vacuum”.
His fellow Conservative MP Steve Brine, another committee member and Tottenham fan, called on clubs and players to “show moral responsibility” during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Wealthy football clubs MUST NOT be allowed to use public funds to put staff on leave while still paying players a lot of money,” he said.
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David Lammy of Labor, MP for Tottenham, said: “The public rightly expects highly paid footballers from top clubs to be called upon to shoulder the burden of football clubs’ financial losses over the next few years. months, rather than those who receive modest wages in cleaning, catering or security to be borne by the taxpayer.
“I hope the meetings reported today between the Association of Professional Footballers, the Premier League and the English Football League reflect this.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, told the BBC that highly paid footballers “should be the first” to sacrifice their wages “rather than the person selling the program or the person who takes care of the catering or the person who probably doesn’t come close to the salary of Premier League footballers get “.
In Spain, players of league champions Barcelona suffer a 70% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic and will make additional contributions to ensure that non-sporting staff receive their full salary.