COVID-19: Shearer says ‘let the players decide best way to help’

Newcastle and England legend Alan Shearer has written in his BBC Sport column that the footballing authorities should ‘let the players decide the best way to help’.

Players should be allowed to decide

Shearer says that ‘not many players will need to be told to play their part’ in the fight against the COVID-19 crisis, and that the players want to know where their money is going.

“The Premier League has proposed a universal 30% pay-cut for all players,” Shearer wrote in his column. “But where would that money go, exactly? Would it harm the NHS by reducing the Government’s tax income, as the Professional Footballers’ Association claims?

“Of course the players are entitled to ask these kind of questions, because not only will they want to do the right thing, but they will also want their money to be used in the best possible way.”

The former Newcastle skipper also spoke of how we must avoid generalising the Premier League players when it comes to finances.

“You also have to remember their wages will vary hugely, in the top flight alone,” said Shearer.

“Not all Premier League players are multi-millionaires, yet they are being generalised – and, in some places, criticised – as a single group whether they are superstars or not.

“From my own experiences, however, everyone will want to do their bit, whatever their circumstances.”

Of course some players have already put their money with their mouth is and made donations to charities, but Shearer expects more in the coming days and warns that just because you haven’t heard about it, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

He said: “I am sure that over the coming days and weeks we will see Premier League players donating millions of pounds to where they feel is necessary.

READ MORE: Gregg Clarke says there is a “danger of losing clubs and leagues” due to COVID-19

“We have seen several of them do that already, of course – Marcus Rashford and David de Gea have got involved with charities here and abroad, and Jordan Henderson has set up a fund for the NHS.

“But just because you have not read about it on social media does not mean that more individuals are not doing similar things.”

Shearer critical of Premier League clubs using furlough scheme

The 49-year-old Premier League legend was critical of the clubs in the English top flight who have used the governments job retention scheme and furloughed their staff.

If you want more information on the scheme, watch the video below.

He warned that, while it may be right for some smaller clubs to use the scheme, that doesn’t therefore mean its right for the bigger clubs to use it too.

“So it is a shame to see some Premier League clubs furloughing staff, when it seems avoidable,” admitted Shearer.

“The scheme was not brought in to help companies who have made millions of pounds in the past few years. It was meant for smaller businesses who could go bust, and whose staff might not have a job to go back to otherwise.

“Liverpool have already reversed their decision over the weekend to furlough some non-playing staff, but there are other Premier League clubs who do not come out of this too well with the decision they have made and, so far, stuck with.

“What is right for Norwich, or clubs further down the pyramid who are going to struggle to survive this crisis, is not necessarily right for the so-called bigger clubs.”

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