Neville slams Scunthorpe chairman over ‘disgusting’ player pay comments

Joe Williams
Gary Neville Man Utd

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has called Scunthorpe chairman Peter Swann’s comments that players’ wages should suspended “disgusting”.

In a letter released to the PA news agency, Swann also criticised the governing bodies for a lack of leadership and stated his worries about resuming action behind closed doors.

The English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association reached an agreement which will see clubs asked to defer player wages by no more than 25 per cent, and not below £2,500 per month.

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But Swann, whose club are in League Two, wants more drastic action and says players must not claim money for a job they are not doing.

“We sign players on contracts to play in the Football League and that is the job they do, play football in front of fans for a set number of games,” Swann said.

“They earn money on appearances, promotion, and relegation under those rules and I feel if the league is suspended then the players’ wages should be suspended until the resumption of full training and a resumption date confirmed.”


Neville disagreed with Swann’s comments calling the notion of suspending players’ pay as “disgusting”.

Neville told Sky Sports: “I think it’s bordering on disgusting, Geoff [Shreeves]. It doesn’t help at all in the way football is perceived by fans, it doesn’t help the way football is perceived by players.

“I pay people in my hotels to look after guests, they are not doing it at the moment. What do I do? Just chuck them out on the street? Say sorry your income is gone now? That is not how we treat people in every other industry.

“The reason we have workers’ rights, employees’ rights is to guard against owners like that. Literally at this moment in time would chuck those lads out of their club, stop paying them, not giving them a penny, leave them with mortgages to pay.

“And there are other business leaders during this crisis who have done that in other industries, who can afford to pay their staff, who have literally just made them redundant and thrown them away on unpaid leave or asked them to take holiday. It’s disgusting!

“You have to do the right thing, these are people, human beings. Forget whether they are football players, whether they’re lawyers, whether they are accountants, whether they work in a hotel. The reality is that none of this was their doing.

“The idea that a Football League owner says ‘we shouldn’t pay them if they’re not playing’…are his executive team getting paid during this time? Are the staff that work in the ticket office going to get chucked out as well? The people who need the money. It’s truly terrible the way in which some football club owners try to act in desperate ways in this crisis.

“It’s why players look at them as rich, wealthy, Rolls-Royce driving owners, who I don’t care about and I won’t take a pay cut for and I don’t blame them. And that’s what the Premier League players have done with their owners.”


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