With players’ wages in the spotlight, the shot-stopper believes it is vital for top-flight sides to show a united front
Ben Foster believes Premier League clubs must commit to a blanket policy on pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic, or else it could “get a bit messy”.
The topic of footballers’ salaries is in the spotlight after health secretary Matt Hancock suggested players in the top flight should make a contribution to help during the health crisis.
The Premier League called for players to take a 30 per cent pay cut in a statement released on Friday, though the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) responded by pointing out such a move would lead to a loss in important revenue via tax contributions.
Watford goalkeeper Foster revealed there is an “understanding” from players that something needs to be done during these unprecedented times, but said any action – whether through salary cuts or wage deferrals – should come as a united front.
“Pretty much every footballer I’ve spoken to… I think it is something we understand, we completely agree that something needs to be done,” Foster told talkSPORT.
“But from a player’s point of view, and I’m sure the PFA will be talking about it today. As long as it is done in a structured manner.
“It is important to cover every team with the same [policy], whether it’s a deferral or a cut, so that we are all under the same blanket.
“Now, more than ever, it is so important that we do this together. When you start getting teams doing their own individual wage cuts or deferrals, that’s when it starts to get a bit messy.
“I know from talking to everyone at Watford that we are understanding that this needs to happen.
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“Something like this is unprecedented. No one knows where it’s going or how hard it’s going to be. If we can do something in the meantime, you’ve got to do it.”
England legend Wayne Rooney has criticised the public pressure being put on players to take pay cuts, branding it a “disgrace” and saying government figures are making footballers out to be scapegoats.
The Premier League season is suspended indefinitely due to the virus, though there remains a commitment to completing the 2019-20 fixtures.