PFA: Premier League stars will 'play part' during coronavirus pandemic

Players in England’s lucrative top flight have come under the spotlight over the past week over their perceived lack of action

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 06, 2018 The English Premier League football trophy is pictured before the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor says Premier League players have "agreed to play their part" during the coronavirus pandemic as talks continue to find a collective pay deal on April 7, 2020. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. 
 / AFP / Oli SCARFF                           / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

The head of the union representing Premier League players says they have “all agreed to play their part” to find a solution to a collective pay deal to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

Players in England's lucrative top flight have come under the spotlight the past week over their perceived lack of action, despite the fact many have made significant financial contributions to various charities and other initiatives during the crisis.

The Premier League has urged players to accept wage cuts of 30 per cent, which were rejected.

Ongoing talks have hit a stumbling block, with the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) warning that Britain's National Health Service could suffer from the loss of tax receipts as a result of players taking such significant pay cuts.

Fifa has urged players and clubs to reach an agreement over wage reductions to players and staff, with Reuters reporting on Sunday details of a leaked internal document from football's world governing body.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock was among senior politicians calling for players to take a cut and "play their part", a call that sparked off angry reactions from players.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor told BBC radio on Tuesday that the players were "responsible enough" to know wages were a factor in any club's expenditure.

"We've been consistent with what we've said from the beginning and the fact is the players feel quite aggrieved that the Secretary of State for Health should put them in a corner without looking," he said.

"They're not self-employed, they make massive contributions to the Treasury and they've also quite logically felt that if they don't get that money, if a third is deferred or a third is cut, then the Treasury is £200 million-[Dh980m]-a-year worse off and that could be going towards the National Health [Service] and will be needed."

Taylor, 75, the highest paid union chief in the UK, is reportedly not taking a cut to his own £2 million annual salary.

"The PFA will make donations and the PFA is involved in the players' charity," Taylor told The Guardian when asked directly if he would accept a reduction in salary.

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Eight Premier League clubs among world's 20 richest

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Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur have come under pressure from fans to follow Liverpool in reversing their decision to use public money to pay employees.

Liverpool, the European champions and the world's seventh richest club, ditched their controversial plan to furlough some of their non-playing staff during the coronavirus on Monday after coming under intense pressure from former players and fans.

Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore wrote an open letter to supporters apologising for the decision.

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust once again urged the club to follow suit and overturn the decision to furlough some non-playing staff.

A brief statement on Twitter read: "We have been saying consistently @SpursOfficial – pause and rethink. We are now saying it clearly and in public – do not further damage the Club's reputation, listen to your fans."

Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bournemouth are the other Premier League clubs to announce plans to use the government's furlough scheme and they were joined by Scottish club Rangers on Monday.

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