Footballers must make pay cut gesture, says ex-players' union chairman Barry Horne

Barry Horne
Barry Horne (R) won the 1995 FA Cup while playing for Everton

Former players' union chairman Barry Horne says it is a "no-brainer" for footballers to take wage cuts during the coronavirus crisis.

The Premier League will ask players to accept 30% salary reductions with all football suspended.

Ex-Everton midfielder Horne believes the Professional Footballers' Association should approve the measure "as a matter of course".

"They should be making a gesture," he said.

Speaking on the BBC Radio Wales Breakfast programme, Horne said it was "shameful" action had not already been taken.

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The former Wales captain said: "I have been chairman of the PFA, I have fought for players' wages, I have fought for players' rights.

"But we are in unprecedented times here where everybody is mucking in.

"My daughter has just been asked to take a pay cut at her place of work. She is more than willing to do it at a time when everybody is mucking in. It's a time of national solidarity.

"Footballers don't have a great reputation, do they, let's face it. This is a no-brainer.

"They should be saying 'whatever the pay cut, it doesn't matter' - 10%, 20%, if it's different for every player, if it's bands depending on how much you earn. It's a gesture.

"It's shameful they have not already done something."

Horne, who on playing retirement became director of football at National League club Wrexham, understands the difficulties of working out a plan, but believes arrangements can be made.

"The problem with clubs asking players to take pay cuts is that they will be terrified for being in breach of contract and losing players," he added.

"Football will start again at some point and obviously clubs don't want to be losing players.

"First of all they need the agreement of the players. They will need the agreement of the PFA at some point - that should come as a matter of course."