PFA chief slams ‘astonishing’ Hancock, explains player stance

Date published: Monday 6th April 2020 8:40 - Matthew Stead

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PFA chairman Gordon Taylor has taken aim at Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s “astonishing” stance on Premier League footballers, who want clubs to “explain” their financial positions.

Premier League players have come under particular scrutiny with regards to wage cuts or deferrals during the suspension of action.

With five top-flight clubs having furloughed some or all non-playing staff, there is a focus on what football is doing to help in a time of national crisis.

Meetings between players, clubs and the PFA itself are ongoing, with talks over a planned blanket 30 per cent wage cut reaching an impasse.

PFA chief Taylor has explained that players simply want clubs to provide detailed financial breakdowns in an effort to ensure any money saved goes straight to the NHS and other related charities or hospices, as opposed to straight into the relevant club’s funds.

 

“I think if [clubs] can’t do that and explain the position fully then they have every right to expect players to mistrust what is happening,” the PFA chief executive told the Daily Telegraph.

Taylor added that players simply wanted to know where any money would go, reinforcing the suggestion that they ‘fear’ how only owners would benefit from wage cuts.

“They want the complete due diligence,” Taylor said. “They’re not stupid. They’ve not just got their brains in their feet. They want to know the reasons for it and where it’s going.

“I think they felt themselves being pressured unfairly when they were fully prepared to discuss issues so long as it was in a full and frank manner.

“It’s for clubs to do what they feel they need to do but the players wanted to make sure ideally there was a situation at local level where they could look after the non-playing staff and they could play their part in doing that to make sure they were not diminished in their income.”

Taylor then took aim at Hancock’s latest comments on how players should help the NHS, reiterating claims he made earlier last week.

“I found it astonishing that Matt Hancock could come out like that when he’s got his own issues with trying to get the necessary protective health equipment for our NHS workers and didn’t have the tests in place either,” Taylor said.

“We were promised the data of each club from the beginning of our talks so we could explain the position of each club to the players but that has not been received.

“That is the information we feel needs to be put to the players at each club so they have a full understanding of the situation.

“Rather than being a split between clubs and players, hopefully it be a coming together because that’s all we’re asking – that football deals with this in a team effort way.”

 

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