05 April 2020

Wayne Rooney says the way footballer wage row has played out is 'a disgrace'

Former England player Wayne Rooney has said the way the Premier League wage row has played out is a 'disgrace'.

The former Manchester United and England, now Derby County player, added it's a 'no-win situation' and some players may not be able to afford to take a 30 per cent wage cut.

In his Sunday Times column, Rooney said: "Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats? 

"For the Premier League to just announce the proposal, as it has done, increases the pressure on players and in my opinion it is now a no-win situation: if players come out and say they can't agree or are not willing to cut by 30%, even if the real reasons are that it will financially ruin some, it will be presented as 'Rich Players Refuse Pay Cut'.

 "It seemed strange to me because every other decision in this process has been kept behind closed doors, but this had to be announced publicly. Why? It feels as if it's to shame the players - to force them into a corner where they have to pick up the bill for lost revenue."

It has been reported that players at Rooney's former team Manchester United have donated a third of their wages to the NHS.

Rooney added: "How the past few days have played out is a disgrace. I get that players are well paid and could give up money. But this should be getting done on a case-by-case basis.

"Clubs should be sitting down with each player and explaining what savings it needs to survive. Players would accept that. One player might say, 'I can afford a 30%'; another might say, 'I can only afford 5%'. 

"Personally, I'd have no problem with some of us paying more. I don't think that would cause any dressing room problems.

"Whatever way you look at it, we're easy targets. What gets lost is that half our wages get taken by the taxman. Money that goes to the government, money that is helping the NHS."

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