Premier League stars urged not to take pay cuts by Roy Keane in explosive rant at clubs

The Premier League asked players to take a 30 per cent wage cut earlier this month in order to help clubs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted Saturday, April 25, 2020 by

Premier League stars urged not to take pay cuts by Roy Keane in explosive rant at clubs
Roy Keane is launched an explosive attack on Premier League owners (Image: GETTY)

Manchester United icon Roy Keane has urged Premier League stars - particularly those at big clubs with mega-rich owners - not to feel under any pressure to give up any of their wages. Arsenal became the latest Premier League club to announce a "voluntary agreement" was made with most of the first-team squad and head coach Mikel Arteta to take a 12.5 per cent pay cut.

The issue arose when it emerged that Mesut Ozil was one of three players refusing to accept the salary reduction, despite being one of the best paid footballers in the world.

The £350,000-a-week playmaker has been criticised by pundits including Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville for splitting from the majority of his team-mates.

The debate on Premier League footballers' wages has even been a topic during the daily press conferences held by Government officials.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock caused a stir when he said footballers should "take a pay cut and play their part".

Chelsea are also one of the clubs where players have agreed a 10 per cent wage cut, with everyone said to be united on the decision.

However, Keane feels as though the players have been hung out to dry in some cases while being employees of clubs with billionaire owners.

And the seven-time Premier League champion has urged any player who feels pressured by one of the big clubs to stand their ground and refuse a wage cut on their own prerogative without being vilified.

"From my own experiences in my contract situations either when I was at Forest or Man United, the clubs made it pretty clear to me on every aspect in any contract negotiations I had that it's a business," he said on Sky Sports news.

"I understood that but I signed a contract and I expect the clubs to honour that contract.

"I know circumstances have changed and I'm talking about the clubs who have the money available to them.

"When the clubs go to the players now - and again the big clubs who've got billionaires in the background - come and say 'we're in big trouble', no no no - you honour that contract.

"If certain players in the dressing room wanted to give up their wages or keep their wages, good luck to them, but that's up to the individual.

"This idea that we should be getting players to give up their wages with the big, big clubs - forget about it.

"These clubs are the first to tell you that this is a business, this is how it works.

"Let's get through these next few months if we're a business and we'll get through it.

"These guys have billionaires in the background - they're ruthless, they're shrewd people.

"Then they come looking for the players and they're discussing cash-flow problems etc, I've heard it all before. I take no notice of it."

He added: "I have a lot of sympathy for the players out there because once again a lot of players are getting criticised.

"The way I would look at it no, particularly the way I left United - and I'm talking about players at the really big clubs with a lot of wealthy owners and pressure to take pay-cuts, I wouldn't take a pay-cut from anybody if I was at one of the bigger clubs.

"I know there's pressure on players, but it's nobody's business what you do with your wages.

"I think you take your wages and if you want to be generous then go ahead and do it.

"I don't think players should feel under pressure from clubs, particularly the bigger clubs, to take pay-cuts."

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