The players' union last night rejected pleas from Premier League clubs and the British Government for footballers to accept immediate pay cuts, despite a direct appeal from UK health secretary Matt Hancock amid fears of a financial meltdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a wide-ranging statement, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), led by its veteran chief executive Gordon Taylor, said that it would not simply give clubs a free hand in cutting players' salaries or offering deferrals.
Taylor, who is the voice of the PFA, said in the statement: "In instances where clubs have the resources to pay all staff, the benefit of players paying non-playing staff salaries will only serve the business of the club's shareholders."
This came despite an earlier call from Hancock in the daily coronavirus update directly to Premier League footballers to "make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part".
As many clubs throughout the divisions, including the Premier League, furloughed non-playing staff and some in the Championship negotiated major pay cuts with squads, Taylor said that football should not be absolved of its financial responsibilities.
"Our current position," the PFA said, "is that - as businesses - if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should."
The statement came after another day of talks between the PFA, the Premier League and the English Football League aimed at getting an agreement on salary deferrals and cuts ahead of a shareholders' conference for the 20 Premier League clubs today. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Harry Kane has reached the crossroads of his career at the worst time possible. In other circumstances, the Tottenham striker's comments suggesting he would consider a move in the near future would be reasonable.