Former Leeds and Manchester City defender, Danny Mills, has hit out at the PFA’s sluggish response to calls for players’ wages to be cut in response to the coronavirus crisis.
With football on hold in England due to the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19, which has killed more than 4,000 people in the UK, there have been calls for footballers to sacrifice some of their pay to help the NHS.
Negotiations have been led by the PFA, the players’ union, but on Saturday it questioned the value of stars taking a 30% pay cut in order to help public services, arguing that if they were to do so, the UK government could miss out on around £200 million of tax revenue.
Mills has responded to those claims, hitting out at the union for dragging their heels over finding a solution to the problem and leaving the players open to criticism from the public, many of whom have lost their jobs or have been forced to take a pay cut due to the knock-on financial issues the virus has caused.
“This deal can be done. It’s not that complicated,” Mills told Sky Sports. “I get that the government doesn’t want to miss out on taxes. It’s a valid point but there are ways around that. Everything is new at the moment. This is new at the moment, and there are new things coming into law all the time.
“The will is there from the players. The players want to help out, I can’t stress that enough, it’s quite clear.
“The Premier League players have the ability to do so and the funds to do so, some in the Championship might too but some may not. Some in League One and League Two will not, things could be very tight in their lives and they may not get help further along.
“Allow the Premier League to help out. It’s making footballers look bad at the moment.
“I understand the PFA, and the strength is in their numbers, but all the power lies at the top. They’re the ones with the say. They’re the ones with the money and the power. The PFA are making them look bad at the moment.
“The players want to give money, they want to help, now why’s it taken almost three weeks to get these talks to a point where we can’t even get a conclusion. That doesn’t seem right. The PFA have been slow to react and their communication hasn’t been brilliant.
“We’ve seen Jordan Henderson doing something off his own back to get players to donate and help out. The goodwill of the players is there but the PFA seems to be putting a blockage in the way.”