PFA Premier League CoronavirusPFA/Getty/Goal

Coronavirus: PFA questions merits of Premier League stars taking 30% pay cut

The Professional Footballers' Association has stated that Premier League players are concerned over the merits of a 30% pay cut amid the Covid-19 outbreak although are adamant that they will make "significant financial contributions".

As the pandemic continues to paralyse football, the spotlight has turned on players' wages during this extended hiatus. 

Moves from the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool to reduce wages or furlough non-playing staff have attracted huge criticism, with Stan Collymore and Jamie Carragher having been particularly vocal on the subject.

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Health secretary Matt Hancock is among those who have called on players to accept cuts, but the PFA maintains that its members are acting in a responsible manner.

"All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times," the union noted in a statement released on Saturday. 

"All Premier League players fully appreciate their role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis. They care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship at the moment.

"Discussions about how players can best financially contribute have been ongoing during the current crisis, and prior to yesterday’s announcement by the Premier League."

According to the PFA, protecting non-playing staff, EFL and non-league clubs and the NHS should be the priority at this time, and called on the Premier League to up its charitable contributions. 

"£20m is welcome, but we believe it could be far bigger," it added.

"The EFL money is an advance. Importantly, it will aid cashflow in the immediate, but football needs to find a way to increase funding to the EFL and non-league clubs in the long-term.

"Many clubs require an increase in funding just to survive. We believe in our football pyramid and again stress the need for solidarity between all clubs.

"Going forward, we are working together to find a solution which will be continually reviewed in order to assess the circumstance of the Covid-19 crisis."

Regarding the players' concerns about pay cuts, the statement continued: "The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services - which are especially critical at this time.

"Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services.

"The proposed 30% 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?

"We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks. 

"It is our priority to finalise the precise details of our commitment as soon as possible. However, to achieve a collective position for all Premier League players - of which there are many different financial and contractual circumstances from club-to-club - will take a bit more time. 

"The PFA Charity has also agreed to make a substantial contribution to a player-led initiative once the details are finalised.

"There should be no doubting the players and captains are committed to achieving this as soon as possible. They recognise their role in wider society and what they need to do, as a group, to help and support others."

As reported by Goal, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta, along with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, were among those that were involved in a conference call on Saturday in an attempt to find a solution to the matter.