England manager Gareth Southgate has agreed to take a 30 per cent pay cut to help the NHS during the country’s battle against the coronavirus. The deadly virus has claimed the lives of nearly 4,500 people in this country and moer than 60,000 around the world.
The Football Association (FA) are expected to formally announce the decision next month. It is believed Southgate earns around £5million a year.
England boss since 2016, Southgate took the Three Lions to the semi finals of the World Cup two years ago and with this just one of his many commendable actions off the pitch, has cemented himself as a national hero.
An FA spokesman told Sky Sports News: “The financial implications of the coronavirus are not yet known however, as a not-for-profit organisation, we want to ensure that we take the appropriate course of action to support the wider organisation and our employees.
“We will make a further announcement on our next steps in due course.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) earlier on Saturday responded to calls for Premier League players to also take a 30 per cent cut to their salaries.
In a lengthy statement responding to Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s demand for top-flight stars to “play their part”, the PFA pointed out the tax loss the country would suffer as a result.
It comes after a video conference call was held between the league, the PFA and the captains of all 20 clubs on Saturday discussing potential wage deductions or deferrals.
They said: “The proposed 30 per cent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government.
“What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?
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“We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks.”
They added that players “want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times”. The Premier League has committed to donating £20m to help out the NHS.
Five Premier League clubs have meanwhile put their non-playing staff on furlough leave, with Liverpool becoming the latest to do so after Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich.
And with COVID-19 expected to ravage the country for much, if not all, of the summer – Southgate’s contribution will be warmly received.
Last month, Southgate wrote an open letter to England fans and said: “In the way you’ve all come together to support our team we must now work together to combat a virus that is causing physical and emotional issues to so many.
“So, please continue to follow the guidelines for hygiene and also the sensible precautions put in place to control the spread of the virus in order to protect those most vulnerable to its impact. That responsibility lies with us all.
“We are also conscious of the economic uncertainty affecting so many businesses and, consequently, virtually every family.
“Coupled with the unique challenges of self-isolation, the loss of routine to normal working and social life, we face real challenges to our mental wellbeing. Our children may feel anxious with uncertainty. It’s not normal for any of us and it’s going to challenge us all.
“Look out for each other. Please don’t suffer alone, and remember that our great country has come through these enormous challenges before – and, together, we will do so again.
“We were due to play next week and to represent you all this summer, but now is clearly not the moment for us to take centre-stage.
“The heroes will be the men and women who continue working tirelessly in our hospitals and medical centres to look after our friends and families. They won’t receive the individual acclaim, but we all know their importance is beyond anything we do on the pitch.”
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