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Roy Keane |
Soccer

Roy Keane | "It's nobody's business what you do with your wages"

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11:25 24 Apr 2020

Roy Keane has hit out at the Premier League's top clubs for reportedly putting pressure on their players to take pay cuts during the coronavirus, saying it's "nobody's business what you do with your wages."

Mesut Ozil was splashed across the papers this week after turning down Arsenal's plans for the squad to reduce their wages.

Ozil was one of three players in the Gunners squad that didn't agree to a 12.5 per cent reduction in salary and politicians in the UK were quick to criticise Premier League players for not taking pay cuts.

However, the players set up the #PlayersTogether initiative in partnership with NHS Charities Together to assist the NHS frontline staff by generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most.

The former Manchester United captain told Sky Sports that clubs should leave players to make their own decisions.

"I'm not sure how I'd have dealt with it, but I've got a lot of sympathy for the players out there because, once again, they're getting criticised.

"There are players at the big clubs, with a lot of wealthy owners, who are under pressure to take pay cuts but I wouldn't take a pay cut from anybody if I was at one of the bigger clubs.

"I know there's pressure on players, but its nobody's business what you do with your wages.

"You take your wages, and if you want to be generous you go ahead and do it.

"I don't think players should feel under pressure from clubs, particularly the bigger clubs, to take pay cuts.

"They've signed a contract. I know everyone's different, but your contract with a club is a personal matter, and this idea that all the players have to take a pay cut... I think it's nonsense.

"I think it's up to the individual, and if they want to stick to their guns and say 'listen, I'm sticking with my full wages when we've got a billionaire in the background', then do it."

Keane was venting his frustration at the bigger clubs in the Premier League.

"I'm talking about the top clubs here with the really wealthy owners.

"Obviously I've a lot of sympathy for clubs in the lower leagues, you've got to make sacrifices of course, but the players near the top... and the clubs with their money... then stick to your guns."

Keane also gave an insight into what it was like for him as a player when dealing with wages and contracts.

"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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Coronavirus Manchester United Premier League Roy Keane Sky Sports

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