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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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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina24151453
United StatesUnited States20241660
JapanJapan175931
AustraliaAustralia1431431
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events


ATHLETICS
· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

SAILING
· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

FOOTBALL
· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

CYCLING
· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

WEIGHTLIFTING
· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

HOCKEY
· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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