Wayne Rooney marks public coronavirus pressure on the Premier League: a “shame”


Wayne Rooney said it was a “shame” in the way footballers were demonized by politicians and the Premier League.

Rooney, 34, launched a lightning attack on Health Minister Matt Hancock and the bosses of the league for trying to shame players when they were already in deep discussions about setting up their own charity .

Former English captain Rooney, now at Derby, said: “The way the last few days have been is a shame. First, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, in his daily update on the coronavirus, said that Premier League players should cut their wages.

“It was supposed to give the nation the latest information on the greatest crisis we have experienced in our lives. Why was the salary of footballers even in his head? Was he desperate to divert attention from the way his government was dealing with this pandemic?

Wayne Rooney now plays in the championship with Derby County

“The Premier League then announced that it is looking for its players to drop or defer wages by 30%. This was despite the owners and the Premier League board knowing that the players were already discussing their contribution.

“It seemed strange to me because all the other decisions in this process were kept in camera, but it had to be announced publicly. Why? It looks like it is to shame the players – to force them into a corner where they have to take the bill for lost revenue.

“The first thing to say is that if County Derby needed me to cut wages to save the club, I would understand and seek to support them in any way possible.

“And if the government contacted me to help nurse nurses or buy respirators, I would be proud to do so – as long as I know where the money is going.

Premier League under fire from coronavirus crisis

“But I’m not all the players. I’m 34, I’ve had a long career and I won well. I’m in a place where I could drop something. Not all footballers are in the same position.

“Yet suddenly the whole profession was put on the spot with a demand for 30 percent pay cuts across the board. Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats? ”

Rooney insisted that players will be happy to give generously, but argued that not all players can afford it, and trying to organize a series of cuts and delays was grossly unfair to younger players and those in bottom of the game.

Former Manchester United star Rooney, writing in the Sunday Times, said: “The EFL will probably wait to see what is agreed at the Premier League level and therefore, as captain of Derby, I could face to discussions similar to those of the captains of the Premier League, who were asked to grant discounts on behalf of their entire team.

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“But as a captain, how would I know the financial situation of my teammates?

“The championship is different from the Premier League. We have a player who lives with his mother in a consulting field – it doesn’t matter – who I imagine is responsible for paying the bills for his whole family. He’s a footballer but he faces the same circumstances as many people in our country today.

“He is a young man and he has not had time to put in place a security to rely on. A cut might be fine with me, but what about him? Thirty percent of the £ 2,000 a week would make her lose £ 600 – and that’s what her family needs to live on.

“Remember that players’ careers are short, so they have to invest or save, most face retirement at 35, but unlike a previous generation, they can only get a pension well later.

“Of course the Premier League salary in most cases is higher, but there will be younger players who just aren’t on the type of money where they can be forced to lose 30%. “


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