Gary Lineker has criticised his former club Tottenham after the Premier League club’s announcement that they will furlough 550 members of their non-playing staff.
Lineker, who announced he will donate two months’ wages to the British Red Cross, also said he expected top-flight players to step up and do their bit to contribute to the coronavirus crisis.
Tottenham are among four Premier League clubs to announce a furlough of non-playing staff – which involves a reduction in their salaries to 80% – whilst their players’ lucrative deals remain intact.
Lineker told BBC Radio 4’s ‘World at One’: “The way Tottenham have handled it I don’t think has been very good – what they are doing to their staff I don’t agree with whatsoever.
“But that is a separate issue to what the players do. It’s the club that has said that the players are going to carry on with their wages, but let’s see how the players react to it.”
Players across Spain and Italy have agreed voluntary pay-cuts with the entire Barcelona squad, led by Lionel Messi, agreeing to 70% reductions while the coronavirus crisis continues.
Decided to donate a couple of months’ salary to @BritishRedCross who are doing vital work for those most vulnerable during the Coronavirus crisis. Feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do this. If you’d like to join in, it’d be greatly appreciated. 👍🏻 https://t.co/r5Q9fs5PSQ
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 2, 2020
And Lineker urged patience in respect of the response of Premier League stars, insisting: “I think a lot of footballers will do something, and I think there will be a lot of announcements at clubs.
“My inkling is that footballers will take pay cuts, they will help out in communities, they will make donations in whatever way they can, and I think we need to be a little bit patient with them.”
Reflecting on his own decision to make a charity donation, Lineker added: “I’ve decided that I’m going to donate two months’ net salary to the British Red Cross, who are on the frontline trying to help in all sorts of different ways.
“Hopefully other people who are in a position of relative wealth can do something similar.”