It’s being reported in the media today that Watford are set to become the third club in the Premier League to announce a player’s wage deferral.
There Has Only Been Two Clubs Agree A Wage Deferral After 6 Weeks
The fact that we are now 6 weeks without a Premier League match, and the issue of wages still hasn’t been resolved, shows just what a complex issue this is.
This is a hugely complex issue though, and the ramifications if it’s done incorrectly could be huge.
As is usually the case in football, there are a number of bodies all fighting their own corners. And all of them will have their own agendas.
Not only do we have the players and PFA fighting their own corners, there is also the clubs and their owners, the TV companies, and the Premier League as a whole. All of them are heavily invested in this.
West Ham And Southampton Are The Only Clubs To Agree Wage Deferrals So Far
Arsenal, Chelsea, and now Watford are reported to be close to agreeing deals. Even if those three do come to an agreement, that will still leave 75% of Premier League clubs who haven’t.
This is in no way a slight on the players, but will be used as a stick to beat them. And as we seen with the comments from Matt Hancock, the players are an easy target to hit. Especially if you wish to try and deflect attention away from your own inadequacies.
Another thing that doesn’t help the player’s cause is comment like the one taken from the recent PFA statement.
To claim that players taking a 30% across the board wage deferral would have a detrimental effect on the NHS, was a disaster for the players from a PR point of view.
The players also seem to be carrying the can for certain club’s decisions to furlough non playing staff. This isn’t a decision made by the players, but it doesn’t stop them taking the flak.
The Players Have Created Their Own Charitable Donation Scheme
There was a rumour before the players created the #PlayersTogether scheme that they were concerned wage deferrals would just go back into the pockets of the clubs billionaire owners (the real villains of this piece for me).
I can understand this, and in general, the collective owner’s silence has been deafening.
Ultimately though, it could come down to the fact that football as we know it won’t survive if some deals aren’t struck soon.
Yes, the PFA will argue on the player’s behalf, as it is their job too. But if there is no club left to pay the players, what use is that to anyone?