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Gary Lineker hits back at crit...
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Gary Lineker hits back at criticism of Premier League stars

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

18:46 2 Apr 2020

Gary Lineker has hit back at the criticism of Premier League footballers who have not yet taken wage cuts as the coronavirus crisis worsens in the UK.

Four top flight clubs have put their non-playing staff on leave, with the UK government paying 80 percent of their salaries, whilst their players' lucrative deals remain intact which has led to a lot of criticism.

However Lineker believes the top stars will do the "right thing" and follow highly-paid players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi who have taken cuts at their teams in Italy and Spain.

"As we all know, we're kind of following the curves of Spain and Italy," Lineker said  in an interview on Sky Sports News, referring to how the coronavirus crisis has progressed in different countries at different times.

"In those countries, in the last few days, we've seen players take voluntary cuts.

"So I think we're kind of following in their path in all sorts of things and I expect, and hope and think it's right that footballers [in England] will try and do their bit."

The former England captain believes that the big clubs in England will be able to weather the storm while the game cannot be played but is concerned about the smaller clubs.

"I think it's very important that football does play its part in this, football will suffer massively," added Lineker.

"Without football, it means economic disaster for a lot of clubs. Obviously the giants will survive but it's really worrying for those further down the leagues.

"I'm sure the big stars at the big clubs are looking at this and looking to do the right thing. It's not something that they can just make a decison overnight. They have to have a degree of togetherness over this.

"I've got no inside information. If, in a week's time, we're still in the same position, then I'll start to doubt it as well.

"But I honestly think we will hear things from players and I expect probably in the next few days."

Meanwhile the Conservative MP for Solihull, Julian Knight has joined in the criticism of highly paid footballers.

Knight says it’s “morally wrong” that clubs continue to pay players their full wage during the crisis while placing staff on leaves of absence.

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