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Roy Keane Believes That Top Premier League Players Shouldn't Take A Pay Cut

Roy Keane Believes That Top Premier League Players Shouldn't Take A Pay Cut
By Gary Connaughton
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It's fair to say footballers have been vilified by some during the coronavirus pandemic. While it is of course true that they earn vast amounts of money, the way they have been singled out by British politicians in particular doesn't really sit right.

Many were already making sizeable charitable contributions when they were told they should be taking a pay cut. It is one thing if that money went to helping those in crisis, but it makes little sense if it is instead retained by billionaire owners.

Roy Keane is somebody who is familiar with such battles. Speaking on Sky Sports this morning, he said that while those lower down the league may have to make sacrifices for their clubs, players at the biggest teams should not be forced to take a pay cut.

I have a lot of sympathy for the players because a lot of them are getting criticised. The way I would look at it now, particularly in the way I left United, and I'm talking about players at the big clubs with wealthy owners, I wouldn't take a pay cut from anybody.

I know there's pressure on players but it's nobody's business what you want to do with your wages. You take your wages and if you want to be generous, go ahead and do it...

They've signed a contract. I know everybody is different, different personal details, but your contract with the club is a personal matter. This idea that all the players should take a pay cut, I think that's nonsense.

I think it's up to the individual. If they want to stick to their guns and say 'I'm sticking with my full wages while we've got a billionaire in the background', then do it. Don't be swayed by some pressure in the media, who constantly write lies anyway about certain players.

I'm really surprised with the amount of people jumping on the bandwagon with their criticism of the players. It's none of their business.


This is certainly an interesting stance to take.

While there is little doubt that players could perhaps give a little back to the community during this time, giving up part of their wages so that a billionaire owner has more money in his bank account makes little sense.


Keane justified this stance with experiences from his own career. He was often in a battle with Manchester United when it came to his contracts, with the club trying to underpay him on many occasions despite his value.

This was especially clear during the tail-end of his time at Old Trafford, where they were desperate to get his wages off the books. Ultimately, Keane fells that if the clubs are treating this as a business then the players also reserve that right:

When I was at Man United, when I was negotiating new deals or the day I was leaving the club, the clubs made it pretty clear to me on every aspect of contract negotiations I had that it's a business, and I understood that.

But I signed a contract, and I expect the clubs to honour that contract. And I know circumstances have changed and, I repeat: I'm talking about the clubs that have money available to them.

I've had discussions when I was at Nottingham Forest; I was literally on the same money for two years, I got a pay rise and I was told I was greedy.

I went to Man United. Man United discussed with me they couldn't match Blackburn Rovers. Man United couldn't match Blackburn Rovers? Can you believe that?

Eventually after a few years, I signed a new contract, Man United sent out letters to supporters saying season tickets had gone up because of my contract.

The day I left the club, I sat in front of Ferguson and Gill, who discussed cash flow problems. Brilliant. Brilliant.

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