When the football world took issue to Matt Hancock’s comments this week, it wasn’t because we disagreed that football players should play their part to help in this difficult times.
They should — but they shouldn’t be attacked or generalised in such a way. What about Hancock’s mates, businessmen worth millions and billions, those keeping very quiet at the moment? There are many more professional capable of ‘playing their part’.
You will be glad to hear Gary Neville has invited Health Minister Hancock on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football this week as a potential special edition. The former Manchester United and England right-back has proposed questions from the football community with fans being represented by Neville himself as well as Jamie Carragher and Sky Sports presenter David Jones.
Hancock’s response will be interesting, if Neville even gets one.
Following extensive talks with Ed Woodward, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has urged his teammates to pledge 30% of their weekly wage to charity. David de Gea has also sent a donation worth €300,000 to hospitals in Madrid with Spain being another country badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by the Standard.
But United can still show the kind of moral leadership that has been lacking in the Premier League in recent days, especially at a time it’s needed most…
There’s a debate about the idea of Premier League clubs using taxpayer funds to place staff on furlough. All you’ve got to do is look to the top of the league to see what the ‘biggest’ clubs are doing.
You can side more with Norwich City’s decision to furlough staff but Tottenham? LIVERPOOL?!
In a statement on their official website, Liverpool confirmed that they would be turning to the UK Government to cover 80% of wages.
A member of Liverpool’s staff, who wishes to remain anonymous told the BBC that they don’t feel like ‘family’ — as the club would like you to believe.
“The club call their staff their family – I’m not feeling like a family member,” they are quoted as saying via The Mirror. “Why is a club that turns over £100m using a government scheme for its staff when other businesses are more in need of it?
You had this historical figure, John Houlding, a Tory Orange Order Freemason & Lord Mayor of Liverpool, who evicted Everton from Anfield cos he wanted more rent.
When you do business, ask: “what would Houlding do?” and see if it reflects the franchise.https://t.co/LUrHp61LsU
— Red Issue (@RedIssue) April 4, 2020
The scheme sees the government pay 80% of monthly salaries of furlough staff, up to £2,500 p/m, and it’s sad to see a club of Liverpool’s size stoop to such lows.
Let’s put it into some perspective.
Liverpool made a pre-tax profit of £42m and increased turnover to £533m in 2018-19. They are also owned by a man, John W. Henry, with a net worth of £2bn. There is no excuse for this and Liverpool are screwing the system.
They also sing YNWA. What a bunch of pretenders. pic.twitter.com/YCBD3wuIr2
— StrettyNews.com (@StrettyNews) April 4, 2020
Many Liverpool fans and former players have criticised the club’s decision, announced over the weekend, and it’s made a pathway for more clubs in the top-flight to follow suit.
Jurgen Klopp showed compassion for all at the start of this pandemic, senior players heavily involved in @premierleague players taking wage cuts. Then all that respect & goodwill is lost, poor this @LFC https://t.co/9bE8Rw1veE
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) April 4, 2020
It’s time for Manchester United to show why they’re the biggest club of them all and provide the kind of moral leadership that us football fans want to see.
The biggest fear is knowing that the Glazers are cut from the same cloth as American behind Liverpool.
Listen to this week’s podcast – Strettycast is also available on Apple Podcasts.