PFA making players look bad in wage-cut talks, says Danny Mills
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) is making players "look bad" over their failure to agree a reduction in player wages with the Premier League, says former England defender Danny Mills.
The PFA held talks with the Premier League on Saturday after the division’s 20 clubs proposed cutting their players’ pay by 30 per cent while the league is on hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis.
However, no agreement was reached despite pressure from MPs such as Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who called on top-flight players to "play their part" by accepting pay cuts.
The PFA insisted players intend to make "significant financial contributions" but warned reducing their wages would result in reduced taxation for the government to spend on public services.
It comes as a number of Premier League clubs, including Liverpool and Tottenham, have placed non-playing staff on furlough, meaning the government will pay 80 per cent of their wages while they do not work.
Mills, who won 19 England caps and played for Norwich, Charlton, Leeds and Manchester City in the Premier League, says the players want to make a contribution but are being held back by their union.
He told Sky Sports News: "This deal can be done. It’s not that complicated.
"Yes, I get that point that the government doesn’t want to lose out on a possible £200m-worth of taxes. That’s completely understandable and it’s a valid one that none of us really thought about in the beginning. But there are ways around that.
"The will is there from the players. The players want to help out – I can’t stress that enough. The Premier League players have the ability to do so, they have the funds to do so.
"Why has this taken almost three weeks to get these talks to a point where you can’t even get a conclusion? That just doesn’t seem right.
"The PFA have been slow to react, their communication hasn’t been brilliant. The PFA seem to be putting a blockage in the way rather than trying to facilitate this."
"The furlough scheme is a difficult one," he said. "It’s very unique and I think it’s very good.
"There are certain businesses that will try to take advantage. We’ve seen Tottenham furlough their non-playing staff. They made £113m profit last year so why do they need to do that?
"As a business, I can understand it – it’s almost free money from the government. Football clubs are still businesses but it doesn’t look particularly good.
"We know the Premier League clubs are awash with cash. Do they really need to furlough their non-playing staff?"
(c) Sky Sports 2020: PFA making players look bad in wage-cut talks, says Danny Mills