Regrettably, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a floodlight upon the deep-rooted selfishness in Premier League football. Unsurprisingly enough, Tottenham Hotspur has seen a number of its key characters play starring roles in what is nothing shy of the contempt with which modern football holds everyone outside its high net worth bubble.
First out the traps came the boy Levy with indecent haste, foisting his non-playing staff salaries onto the state. Whilst our illustrious leader is technically doing no wrong, we’re back to the whole “tax avoidance and tax evasion” discussion.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Nurak clearly set this system up in order to allow employees of normal businesses* to maintain some sense of financial continuity, whilst hoping to aid businesses that would almost certainly be bankrupted during the isolation.
Then we had José Mourinho and a few others blatantly flouting social distancing in a London park. It’s difficult to imagine what the thought processes at play there were.
*England’s top-flight clubs are not to be confused with normal businesses. Indeed, there’s a great exchange in Yes Minister where Sir Humphrey Appleby defends his salary as being comparably modest. Jim Hacker MP asks him exhaustedly, “…modest compared to whom?” The reply from Appleby is “…er Shirley Bassey?” (One for the dads).
So if one is able to accept that pop stars and footballers are living on a different economic plane to the rest of us, then we can proceed.
I have in recent days been left mentally debilitated by the support shown by some fans to the financial support footballers have been bestowing and threatening to bestow upon the nation.
NHS staff are in many quarters struggling to PPE (personal protective equipment) in order to that they can tend to poorly people safely. There are obviously even more expensive demands for the country to pay for.
A number of hospitals are building additional Intensive Care Units, as they predicted some weeks ago their existing facilities wouldn’t be enough. You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Nightingale initiatives, but in the West Midlands (which is one of the biggest COVID-19 hotspots outside of London), an NHS source told Harry Hotspur that the existing ICU unit had already engulfed the respiratory wards and two more ICU units are currently under construction.
The intensive care bed count in that hospital alone will have over tripled from 32 beds to 100. The peak of COVID-19 infections is expected end of May/beginning of June.
Danny Rose sent a hospital “hundreds” of pizzas.
Let me share something else with you. Another source told me that one concern that is currently growing by the day, is that significant slow down in admissions with heart attacks and strokes. So alongside this pandemic, there will also be the discovery of those that didn’t manage to get the attention that they desperately required because of being isolated. Which will create a further wave of sorrow to be addressed up by the NHS.
So that’s the day-to-day misery that faces the NHS in these unprecedented times, but what of the staff themselves? Whilst thoughts, thanks, prayers, and applause are all very noble, the cold reality is that the nice people on the supermarket tills don’t accept any of them as legal tender.
The compensation that NHS staff receive is listed for you below. The source can be found here.
The salary bands detailed immediately below are for the skilled professionals. So these are the good folk responsible for actual medical care including those on the front-line, in the ICU departments.
< 1-year experience £24,907
1-2 years £24,907
2-3 years £26,970
3-4 years £26,970
4-5 years £27,416
5-6 years £27,416
6-7 years £30,615
7+ years £30,615
Examples of roles at band 5 (includes many newly qualified clinical professionals) – operating department practitioner (ODP), podiatrist, learning disability nurse, therapeutic radiographer, practice manager, and ICT test analyst
< 1-year experience £31,365
1-2 years £31,365
2-3 years £33,176
3-4 years £33,176
4-5 years £33,176
5-6 years £33,779
6-7 years £33,779
7-8 years £37,890
8+ years £37,890
Examples of roles at band 6 – school nurse, experienced paramedic, health records officer, clinical psychology trainee, and biomedical scientist.
< 1-year experience £38,890
1-2 years £38,890
2-3 years £40,894
3-4 years £40,894
4-5 years £40,894
5-6 years £41,723
6-7 years £41,723
7-8 years £44,503
8+ years £44,503
Examples of roles at band 7 – communications manager, estates manager, high-intensity therapist and advanced speech and language therapist.
< 1-year experience £45,753
1-2 years £45,753
2-3 years £45,753
3-4 years £45,753*
4-5 years £45,753*
5+ years £51,668
Examples of roles at band 8a – consultant prosthetist/orthotist, dental laboratory manager, project and program management, modern matron (nursing) and nurse consultant (mental health nursing).
Then alongside that merry lot there is the army of key workers who provide the less skilled, but equally vital support services that keep the machine running.
Examples of roles at band 1 – domestic support worker, housekeeping assistant, driver, and nursery assistant.
< 1 year experience £18,005
1-2 years £18,005
2-3 years £19,337
3-4 years £19,337
4-5 years £19,337
5-6 years £19,337
6+ years £19,337
Examples of roles at band 2 – domestic support worker, housekeeping assistant, driver, nursery assistant, domestic team leader, security officer, secretary/typist, and healthcare assistant.
This next element is more nuanced than well, you’ve got loads so hand it over! As a well known Chelsea blogger once told me, once must adopt an amoral approach when dealing with footballers – but that wasn’t during a pandemic that was turning the planet upside down.
Nor was this sage advice offered when the players weren’t playing.
Right now, the future of most football clubs is in grave doubt. The wage bills for playing staff are a tricky enough juggling act when things are running normally, and even the fiscally astute teams like Spurs can’t keep haemorrhaging cash indefinitely.
Player compensation (for which I might remind you, they are currently not earning) has become a menace to society. The clubs need to survive, long after the current squads have finished picking the last pieces of marrow from the bones.
The obvious suggestion is for those footballers that demonstrably never need to work again to undertake both a meaningful wage cut to help their clubs stay in existence, as Lionel Messi already has, and, make meaningful cash donations to the NHS. Perhaps with some class of tax break once football is back on its feet.
Looking at Tottenham’s current wage bill it appears that nobody in our squad earns as little in a week as anyone in the NHS earns in a year.
Until such time these people are ‘guided’ into doing what is clearly the right thing, pizzas, and hashtags et al. will only serve to obfuscate, as opposed to achieve anything meaningful.
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Is it not possible for the army to erect field hospitals in the grounds of regular hospitals? Surely this would help the over crowding problems,although I understand there is still a problem with the severe shortage of protective equipment for front line workers.
Germany currently spent11.2% of its GDP on health in 2019, which was significantly more than the 9.6% of GDP that the UK spent (BMA source).
Very good blog H.
As others have pointed out the NHS needs a drastic overhaul.Middle mangers should be cut and more equipment provided and the salaries of workers increased to attract more qualified people to the industry.It’s funny how limitless money can be found for worthless wars when some politician wants to cowtail to the US.
I am sure there is noble work going on brhind the scenes by any number of people,but as I pointed out yesterday,lots of people worth more and earning more than PL footballers are staying silent so as not to bring attention upon themselves.
I think the right thing to do would be for the players to defer at the least some of their salaries until the situation has been resolved.This would at least ease the financial burden on the clubs,because no club means no earnings.Even for the lower paid players this surely shouldn’t be a hardship.Probably most are still living at home.
However it should be imperative to ensure that greedy owners,not unlike Levy,in no way benefit personally.So absolute transparency should be employed so see that no monies are surrepticiously squirreled away by the owners.
The only good to come out of Spurs suffereing is if it forced the hand of ENIC/Levy to sell the club to proper football loving owners.Unfortunately in this day and age I don’t think they exist.It’s all become too big business now.
They also receive royalties on sales and repeats [which provide cheap TV which we are certainly seeing a lot of currently]
Also separate NHS tax (half of one percent) optional.
Gotta raise income tax in this county. Simple. (Not for the poor) Copy the danes. Also minimum wage shouldn’t be taxed. Luxury goods should be taxed heavily. What do I know though.
Everything stems from the top and, so, all this unethical behaviour lies at Levy and ENIC’s rotten door. I used to blame Chelsea’s poor conduct and unsavoury image on their Russian oligarch ownership. Now it seems we are vying for the crown of most unethical club, as Levy’s true colours start to show.
Players remaining on full wages during this crisis is impacting the whole professional game . But levy and Mourinho have ensured that one club has stood out head and shoulders above the rest in negative terms. Something likely to be remembered for a long time.
“Daniel Levy has no right to turn Spurs into pariahs…”
Totally agree, the club (players and Levy) is providing more ammunition to everyone who hates the club.
But let’s face it, Grant deserves it, he’s an irksome character.
In fairness to Grant & Co., they only get paid when they perform, like rock stars.
Our players are watching TV and playing Space Invaders
Chucking more money at the NHS won’t solve its problems. Big reforms are necessary but it doesn’t happen because the NHS is used as a political football as to who will throw more money at it. It’s also a myth that the Tories have cut NHS funding in recent years, they have actually increased it.
I agree on the NHS. It’s a mess, Not so much envy of the world as envy of the Third World.
If the players don’t relent, they’ll be responsible for the club being irreparably damaged after this is over.
The problem with the NHS is that there are too many middle managers doing non-jobs. This was Blair’s doing; he created so many of these jobs and cut beds. Fewer of these, more beds and better pay for front line staff needed. Reform of the NHS is needed.
Can’t disagree with the article, but the country has voted not once but three times for governments promising austerity, and when people are asked would they pay more tax they refuse. I’m not condemning those choices, or anyone who makes them. There are alternative ways of doing things, but what people should do is accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions. As regards the footballers, they have become a lightning rod for society’s anger. We may as well pick on Olivia Coleman, David Jason and Hugh Grant for all the good it will do.
The wage structure in this country needs a shake up, it has taken a desperate and catastrophic human disaster to highlight the value of our NHS doctors, nurses and carers etc. for the people to realise their worth to the nation. I hope that the government , who after recent events should now have a clear and undeniable understanding of the level of importance the NHS and its workforce holds for us ALL , and it gets their respect once and for all.
As for footie, well all cup competitions throughout Europe should be scrapped, including scheduled international friendlies until much later in the year, however the EPL should fulfil the fixtures , then start the new season within a two week period following the end of the current one. A hectic reshuffle for clubs promoted and relegated, but fixtures should be taken into account to cover that scenario of clubs being in one or the other . The lower leagues to do the same, with regard to transfer windows then that would mean an extension to do the business required, something along those lines I think, though I’m sure its a lot more complicated than my suggestion.
👏 great blog. Totally agree.