The Filthy Five, football must look after itself and more mails…

Date published: Monday 6th April 2020 2:26

Premier League football coronavirus

Keep your mails coming to…


The Filthy Five
Well, started to read this morning’s mailbox firstly in disbelief, then with concern I’d accessed some spam football site, followed by rising fury at the morons attempting to justify the actions of those clubs I’ll call “The Filthy Five” (TFF), and especially those Liverpool fans who seem the most vocal of the lot.  And to think that a minor child emergency yesterday prevented me writing in to make the point that football fans cannot be blamed for the actions of their owners/boards.  Further, that I was expecting a Merseyside backlash and fully expected a Liverpool FC volte face.

Well, kudos to Dave Lillis and Mike LFC for bringing my heart rate down at the tail end of the mailbox and for stopping me thinking that Liverpool fans had, finally, gone beyond parody

To the first lot, please stop with the pathetic excuses a three old would be embarrassed to utter.  (Kid’s whiny voice)  “It’s not our fault the Govt made the money available”.  “The club are paying the other 20%.  Aren’t they brilliant?”.  (This one with bottom lip trembling) “Other multi-million-pound organisations are doing it and nobody’s complaining about them!”.  FFS.

To those that seek to defend TFF I say simply this.  If we have to explain to you why your club furloughing its staff is, perhaps, the most morally repugnant thing in modern football, then there really is no point trying.  It shouldn’t have to be explained to you.  Common decency and a bit of perspective in the current climate should be telling you what the correct response to your club doing this, is.  A relevant analogy may be the idiots panic-buying and then defending it by saying it’s the supermarkets fault for stocking the goods on the shelves in the first place.  No, it really isn’t.

As an add-on, this whole ‘get players to take a 30% wage cut’ is just another massive red herring by the clubs.  They want it for the same reason they’ve furloughed their staff.  A reduced wage bill and more profit.  The ridiculous stratospheric wages paid to PL players is a balloon to be burst on another day I’d suggest.

Again, kudos to those supporters of TFF who are calling their club out.  Respect.

Stay safe everybody.
Mark (Now I know what “This means more” actually means.  Greed.).  MCFC.


We have to look after ourselves and not rely on the government
Dear Editor

For me to actually join the debate (not a great fan of social media so will not use that medium) means things must be bad. I have been involved with football all my life (am 52) and have two sons who play the game and I have to say I am utterly appalled with regard to the lack of positive involvement with regard to how football has reacted to this crisis. I take it that there will be players that donate anonymously and a huge shout out to players like Rashford, Henderson, Neymar and Ibrahimovic for getting involved in a positive manner to do more than their bit. Not even bothered if players make a “song and a dance” about donating as it might turn into an ego competition and more is donated. However football does not help itself when you have players such as Mount, Ali, Mclean, Grealish and Walker acting like idiots. Just the three England internationals and a captain of a premier league side! I have even heard players in the game defend some of their actions and simply put no defence is acceptable when you have young players like Rashford going over and above what needs to be done.

What football has failed to grasp is that you currently have premier league players earning between 4-8 times in a week what an NHS nurse earns in a year. The NHS nurse is on the front line doing all they can to help the sick and in some cases paying the ultimate price of death and from what it sounds like, in a rather horrible way. Premier league players are currently not doing their job and their day consists of 30 minutes on an exercise bike and a few stretches. Look at the average house a Nurse has and the mansion some of these players have and then you further get to understand the scale of the discrepancy. The player in some cases has a pool, will have a decent size garden, maybe a gym and for quite a few all the boys toys needed to get through their tough day of doing very little other than juggling a toilet roll! None of these mod cons for the nurse and any way after working 12 hours on the front line I can imagine it is all they can do to eat, sleep and get ready for another shift. Looks like the wage structure for the jobs seems the wrong way round?

To see what certain clubs are doing with the “furlough scheme” is insulting the public and right now we have five premier league teams that are partly state owned in my eyes. I see Rooney has been defending the players and stated that he is willing to do his bit if asked. He should not need to be asked and should have already done something and actions speak louder than words and forced words at that. I see Gary Neville (who I think is excellent) is trying to get Matt Hancock on his show to clearly try and make him look stupid. For Gary – if you are not aware the Health Secretary is rather busy at the moment, does not have time for your petty squabbles and the chance to make yourself look righteous and by the way the man/woman in the street basically agrees with him. This again shows how money in football is now obscene. MH probably earns around £150,000pa and Gordon Taylor earns over two million and I bet that MH works a lot harder for his money but GH earns just over 13 times more than him, says it all!

Now to be positive. Why do premier league clubs not look to buddy up with a more junior club (s) to help them through the crisis. For example where I live BHA (who have done quite a bit of good) could buddy up with Crawley to pay them what they need to get through the crisis. If Crawley are say £500,000 out of pocket for lost revenue then just give them that as remember each premier league place alone is worth 2 million. This could also be where the players come in. By taking salary reductions this money could be used to stay in football but to go down the pyramid to keep clubs lower down the pyramid solvent thus meaning no football club uses the furlough scheme and/or go out of business. I appreciate money could also go towards the NHS but right now football cannot even look after itself if we are lead to believe what the owners of Spurs and Liverpool are saying.

A further idea for the normal fan. I am a season ticket holder with BHA to include my two sons and have already been told by them that if we do not see the last 5 home games (to include Liverpool, Arsenal, both Manchester teams and Newcastle) which we would be gutted to miss we will get a refund of nearly £400 for the three of us. Trying to work this out as an average for one adult works out around £200. Now that money has already been spent by me and I could do without it. I appreciate other fans in different jobs might need it back. However I would be happy to let BHA keep that and pass that on to my local Step 4 team (Burgess Hill), knowing roughly their weekly wage bill it would take around 280 of us adults to do that to cover their wage costs to the end of the season. If fans all around the country who could afford to do this did it we could then look at helping out a lot of step 3 and step 4 teams across the country as it is quite clear that a lot of the owners at the top (especially the foreign ones) have no idea how important our football pyramid is and to use the most used word of the day unprecedented elsewhere in football and something I think we are all incredibly proud of. I get just as much enjoyment going to watch my local team as watching a premier league game and our pyramid has to be looked after as it is the lifeblood of the game in our country. Looking at the example I have used above you could even get players buddying up with these teams as £56,000 is not even a weeks wages to some. You could have the “buddy a club scheme”.

This concern can still be seen though is some premier league circles. You hear the Burnley chairman very concerned they only have £50 million left and that will go in 6 months if football is not played. This is a very well run club who probably pay some of the lowest wages in the league. Any business would struggle when their monthly expected income of just over £8 million is to be nil for the next 6 months. What will happen here if help is not forthcoming is that they will have to sell their best players (Mcneil for example) at a discount to the bigger clubs as they know they need the money and now you see the irony! Clubs that are using the furlough scheme buying up their players on the cheap! How have they got money for transfers if you are using the furlough scheme I hear you say!

The premier league have advanced EFL teams money they are actually due in August now and seem to think that is enough. I actually though it was an extra payment to help out all the teams but no just the standard payment made early.  All you have done is store the problem on for later in the year as that money would have been used for next season to improve grounds and facilities and mostly on budgets for paying players next season. End result will be players will still get transferred but the wages on offer will be much less as the clubs will have lost probably 6 months income they can never get back. These are players that are not earning huge wages and now they have to take a further cut yet the premier boys still walk around on their obscene weekly income. £250,000 a week to play the game you love, please let’s get real, people are dying, not working, losing their jobs, getting depressed, struggling to makes ends meet etc and yet we have a lot of premier league footballers earning £100,000 a week and doing nothing. Shame on you all.

I could go on further as the way the football industry has acted overall is disgraceful and just goes to prove the critics right, but I wish to leave on a positive. In Sussex a former quite well know non-league player has set up a charity donation via twitter. He is asking all footballers young and old in Sussex to do a 5KM run, record it, put the time on twitter and make a donation (any amount) with all proceeds going to a hospital in Brighton. He was hoping to raise £3,000 and as of yesterday the amount was at £14,000. My eldest will be doing it within the next couple of days and last night we found out that Stephen Warnock had done it. Now my Premier league friends as I have said actions are much louder than words so get off your backsides and do something positive and thank you SW.

I really hope this does get read by someone in a position to pass my comments on. I appreciate you can always make an argument and contradictions to the above and this matter is a very fluid situation but my criticism comes with options and solutions on how to deal with some of the issues and to quote Danny Mills yesterday regarding the PFA. Let’s not hear the words “we cannot” and lets have a starting point of what we can do. As for Premier League player of the year that has to go jointly to Henderson and Rashford 😊

If you get to here thank you for your time taken to read this (could have gone on more) and yes it was good to talk as my wife is fed up with me ranting on about the whole situation. Never been so ashamed about football at the top level in this country.
Julian Durand


Footballers wages, the missing point
I’ve been following the  conversation on football clubs putting staff on furlough but the players still getting paid and the outrage it’s generated and people seem to be missing a very important point. Basically an employee of a football club is either on an open-ended contract (with a notice period) or a fixed contract for a specific term and an agree salary. The furloughed staff will all be on open-ended contracts and are basically having their jobs held open for the, The alternative is redundancy.

For a fixed contract the club has a legal obligation to pay you the agreed amount for the agreed term. If they don’t, they are in breach of contract meaning thye can be sued (and will lose) and also the contract employee has a right to walk away and work for someone else. I would suggest the risk of being sued and also losing a player without a transfer fee would be reason enough for a football club not to do this.

So, in summary they can’t afford to cut a player’s salary as this breaks the contract and means they lose the player. Whether footballers should be giving up some of their own earnings to help others is a different discussion and ends up at the traditional “its outrageous how much they get paid when nurses get paid so little” but that’s a discussion for another day (supply an d demand basically

Sorry to be so dull, but hopefully explains why it’s not as simple as it seems.
John (Isle of Man)

PS. Play the remaining cup comps by each team putting one player forward for a massive game of Wembley, to be played at Wembley. Would be a TV hit



Anger at Liverpool…
There was a few high and mighty morning mailers. Apparently you are a thicko or don’t understand finances in a free market economy. Well, guess what? There’s no such thing as a free market economy. The UK certainly doesn’t have one. We have taxes, laws, government. We have police, fire service, a military, schools and the NHS. And its good thing that we do because if we didn’t we’d be dying.

If we did have a free market they’d be no employment rights and the rich would have pulled the drawbridges up and left us to die and rot. Wouldn’t they Gwarrior?

Yes there is a duty to take steps but not an obligation to take this scheme is there Stuart? The duty could be met by I dunno, off the top of my thicko head, taking £100m from your pocket and putting it into the company as a director loan or capital investment.

With that out the way, the issue is not that a football club has chosen to furlough its staff. Its that they have chosen to furlough the staff that are least protected, least able to survive and it shows that, in their mind, they are the least important. They have conflated wealth with value. It’s a reflection of how they see fans. Of how they see us. Liverpool is no longer there to make the people happy. This does not mean more.

Had the football club furloughed all match day staff – including playing staff – this wouldn’t be a problem. Had they offered everyone 80% pay in exchange for keeping their job and helping the company survive this then the players would have been heroes. Hell, the players may have even taken it. They could have take 3% off the players instead. Who would have noticed?

This is a watershed moment for the Premier League.
Alex, South London


A lot of justification for Liverpool dipping into the public purse here. I noticed all the people justifying this forget to mention the fact Liverpool made 49 Million in profit.

Any top level club who has made profit during the last financial year who then decides to use this scheme should be transfer market banned for the next 2 years. Imagine what its going to be like when Liverpool make their first transfer.

This all stinks.
Dale (F*CK Football)


I think some of the people in the mailbox regarding the furloughing of players are missing the point.

Like one of the mails I have a friend who runs a multi- million pound business and has had to furlough all his staff.

BUT he has stopped taking a ‘wage’ from the business to top the staff up.

Liverpool (and other clubs including my own) are continuing to pay huge salaries to the players.

Now if all the Players want to furloughed and just claim the governments help and donate the rest of their salary? Now that would be a gesture
Rob G (now you know what it’s like having an owner like Ashley)


Now, let me start off by saying that I’m a Manchester United fan, so I might be biased, but I don’t think Liverpool (or Spurs for that matter, who isn’t paying people 100% of their salary as far as I know) has done the right thing, as Stuart and Jason (both from London) feel.

However, what made me take notice in Jason’s letter was this sentence: “What makes a football team any different to other wealthy companies?”.

Sadly, Jason, you might be right, as all football clubs are businesses, but should they really act as such? Personally I like to think that a football club is part of the community and means more to people than most companies. I really long for the days when Manchester United had the words “Football Club” in their badge, which to me is exactly what it is supposed to be: a football club who is also a business, not the other way around.

Anyways, I think the reason people are especially upset with Liverpool is the “This means more”-brigade and how LFC has always been portrayed as a club of the working class people. It’s all a question of communication and PR, and what a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in, when that’s what football has become.

Stay safe everyone!
Kim (Copenhagen, Denmark)


Charitable footballers…
I think that there’s one very important factor that I’ve not seen mentioned in the debates around footballers accepting pay cuts. A large proportion of Premier League footballers come from countries that are far less equipped to deal with a pandemic than the UK. Often footballers emerge from particularly impoverished parts of these countries.

So, if you’re Sadio Mané, for example, are you happy to take a pay cut to aid the already (relatively) well-resourced UK, or would you rather take your full salary and see that it’s used to fight the disease in Senegal, where the consequences of a coronavirus outbreak are likely to be much worse? Bearing in mind, of course, that Senegal is where most of your family and friends live.

Under those circumstances, I think I’d be willing to risk the opprobrium of Lucas from this morning’s mailbox and keep drawing my full salary.

This may, of course, be an overly optimistic assessment of the altruistic tendencies of the average footballer, but I’d be surprised if there aren’t a few already doing this.
Gareth, LFC, Cape Town (not claiming any specific knowledge of Sadio Mané’s financial arrangements)


Patronising waffle
Ever since the disgraceful announcement from Liverpools owners about putting non playing staff in furlough there seems to be 2 camps of opinion.
The type who find it vile and disgraceful(am firmly in this camp)& the “well if the option is there why not use it” camp.

Those in the second bracket are the “Brexit means Brexit” types or when rents go up will say “well demand is greater than supply so that’s why prices sky rocket.”

Everyone with any cop on 100% understands from a business point why the owners did it.Lets immediately stop patronising people by explaining why the owners did it,that is 100% obvious.

The issue people have is just last month FSG announced  record revenues and profits for season 18/19.Klopp bought nobody last Summer,not 1 player.Since arriving his net spend is £20m per season at a time when tv revenues have gone through the roof.FSG are billionaires.They could easily afford to pay non playing staff for 3 months and,if this isn’t resolved by July,they then took advantage of the scheme you could kind of understand it.

Especially if their businesses in America take a hit.To do it now,when still paying players between 100 and 200k per week just stinks.There is no excusing it.

When football does return I would guess of Liverpools remaining 9 games all will be on tv.

That’s a share of £99m.Guaranteed.

To do it now it just completely stinks and morally it is so,so wrong.They do great work in the community, Klopp comes across brilliantly,Liverpool players are never in trouble off the pitch yet all that is undone with this decision.How anyone could think that following the path that Daniel Levy and Mike Ashley went down is the right way to go is beyond me.

The general rule should be,whatever those 2 scumbags do,do the opposite.The 15 clubs who have not yet gone down this route have every right to take the moral high ground…there is no comeback.

Well done FSG,you have shown your true colours.

PS. I don’t think they will backtrack,but if they do wait for the “we live in the US,everyone takes advantage of financial help here but we didn’t realise it would be frowned upon to do it in England” card to be played.Guaranteed


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