Coronavirus: Taylor insists players not stupid over pay cuts, brands Hancock 'astonishing'

By Sports Desk April 06, 2020

Gordon Taylor insists Premier League players are not stupid in the row over pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic and described the intervention by health secretary Matt Hancock as "astonishing".

Hancock last week urged top-flight players in England to do their part and doubled down on his comments in an interview on Sunday.

Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville and Gary Lineker have been among the high-profile figures stating it is unfair for footballers to be singled out during the debate over salary reductions.

Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) chief executive Taylor was shocked by Hancock and insists players are simply demanding clarification on where any money they sacrifice will go.

His comments came after the PFA pointed out the loss of tax contributions that will occur if players agree with the Premier League's proposal for a 30 per cent pay cut.

Taylor told the Telegraph: "I found it astonishing that Matt Hancock could come out like that when he's got his own issues with trying to get the necessary protective health equipment for our NHS workers and didn't have the tests in place either.

"I think if they [the clubs] can't do that [provide details on where the money will go] and explain the position fully then they have every right to expect players to mistrust what is happening."

On whether players were concerned about that point specifically, Taylor added: "Exactly that. They want the complete due diligence. 

"They're not stupid. They've not just got their brains in their feet. They want to know the reasons for it and where it's going."

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