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Gary Lineker to donate two months' wages to coronavirus fight

Gary Lineker to donate two months' wages to coronavirus fight
© Reuters
He calls for patience towards top-flight players, believing they will contribute to the fight against coronavirus.

Gary Lineker has criticised his former team Tottenham after the Premier League club’s announcement that they will furlough 550 members of their non-playing staff.

Lineker, who announced he will donate two months’ wages to the British Red Cross, also said he expected top-flight players to step up and do their bit to contribute to the coronavirus crisis.

Tottenham are among four Premier League clubs to announce a furlough of non-playing staff – which involves a reduction in their salaries to 80% – whilst their players’ lucrative deals remain intact.

Lineker told BBC Radio 4’s ‘World at One’: “The way Tottenham have handled it I don’t think has been very good – what they are doing to their staff I don’t agree with whatsoever.

Daniel Levy
Tottenham chief Daniel Levy has come in for stinging criticism (Steven Paston/PA)

“But that is a separate issue to what the players do. It’s the club that has said that the players are going to carry on with their wages, but let’s see how the players react to it.”

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust has called on Levy to make a bigger financial contribution to help the club cover non-playing staff’s wages.

It said in a statement: “We are aware that no football club can impose contract changes on its playing or coaching staff without agreement with the respective unions, the PFA and LMA (League Managers’ Association).

“So the comment that THFC has chosen to cut non-playing staff wages while choosing not to cut playing staff wages is inaccurate.

“But there is nothing to stop the club’s players making a voluntary contribution to ensure that the most vulnerable do not bear too great a burden.

“And there is nothing to stop the club’s directors, including the chairman, making a further personal contribution on top of their 20 per cent wage cuts. Points we have made directly to the club board and will continue to do so.

“We have made it clear that this is a course of action fans would overwhelmingly support.”

Players across Spain and Italy have agreed voluntary pay-cuts with the entire Barcelona squad, led by Lionel Messi, agreeing to 70% reductions while the coronavirus crisis continues.

And Lineker urged patience in respect of the response of Premier League stars, insisting: “I think a lot of footballers will do something, and I think there will be a lot of announcements at clubs.

“My inkling is that footballers will take pay cuts, they will help out in communities, they will make donations in whatever way they can, and I think we need to be a little bit patient with them.”

Reflecting on his own decision to make a charity donation, Lineker added: “I’ve decided that I’m going to donate two months’ net salary to the British Red Cross, who are on the frontline trying to help in all sorts of different ways.

“Hopefully other people who are in a position of relative wealth can do something similar.”

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool33292272254789
2Manchester CityMan City33213981344766
3Leicester CityLeicester33177963313258
4Chelsea331761060441657
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd331510856332355
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33131374536952
7Arsenal33121384941849
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs33139115244848
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd33121293433148
10Burnley33137133746-946
11Everton33128134048-844
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle331110123545-1043
13Southampton33134164255-1343
14Crystal Palace33119132840-1242
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton33812133544-936
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3387184058-1831
17Watford33610172952-2328
18Aston Villa3376203662-2627
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich CityNorwich3356222561-3621

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