Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is believed to have asked the whole first-team squad at Old Trafford to each donate 30% of their wages to local hospitals as a contribution to the ongoing fight against the coronavirus crisis.

Premier League wages have already been the subject of much debate in the UK during the national emergency, with four clubs opting to furlough non-playing staff to cut costs but leaving player salaries untouched.

Footballers have been publicly wealth-shamed by health secretary Matt Hancock and urged to take a pay cut, although the cabinet minister’s plea didn’t extend to other well paid – in some cases better paid – industries and unfairly painted players in the eyes of the public as greedy.

He also overlooked that many footballers are committed to charity work throughout the year as it is and that negotiations as to the exact details of potential cuts are already happening.

The PFA has urged all players not to hastily accept pay cuts or wage deferrals without being fully aware of what they are agreeing to. The PFA also alluded to the possibility that some clubs might furlough workers to take unfair advantage of the government’s support scheme.

According to the Daily Mirror, Maguire has asked for a simpler solution from his Old Trafford teammates and sent a message to the rest of the United squad suggesting they pledge money to Manchester hospitals.

Harry Maguire

It is said that Maguire has personally held ‘extensive talks’ with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and that the players are ‘overwhelmingly in support’ of donating to the cause. The club is on board even though United have not asked the players to take pay cuts.

The Mirror adds that Premier League footballers generally are annoyed about the pay cut debate as many have already been donating privately and would prefer their money to go to charity or the NHS, rather than staying with their clubs.

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