The power struggle over how Premier League footballers can financially assist in the fight against coronavirus is “a disgrace” and has players in a “no-win situation”, says Wayne Rooney.
Players have been urged to do more by health secretary Matt Hancock and the Premier League proposed a 30% pay cut.
The Professional Footballers’ Association says that may harm the NHS.
Derby striker Rooney says he is happy to offer support but asked: “Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats?”
In his Sunday Times column, the 34-year-old ex-England captain added: “For the Premier League to just announce the proposal, as it has done, increases the pressure on players and in my opinion it is now a no-win situation: if players come out and say they can’t agree or are not willing to cut by 30%, even if the real reasons are that it will financially ruin some, it will be presented as ‘Rich Players Refuse Pay Cut’.
“It seemed strange to me because every other decision in this process has been kept behind closed doors, but this had to be announced publicly.
“Why? It feels as if it’s to shame the players – to force them into a corner where they have to pick up the bill for lost revenue.”