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The FA to cut 30% pay from top earners

THE FA
The highest-paid staff from the Football Association (FA) will take wage cuts of up to 30 per cent as English football’s governing body manages the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham outlined the cost-saving measures in a message to staff which was also published on the governing body’s website. Gareth Southgate, manager of England’s men’s national team, is reportedly sacrificing UK£225,000 (AU$451,407) over the next three months under the plan.

Bullingham proposed that staff earning more than UK£50,000 (AU$100,312) annually should take a cut of 7.5 per cent.

“In the spirit of those on higher salaries taking the greater responsibility, the senior management team have agreed to cut their pay by 15 per cent with the highest earners in the organisation agreeing to reduce their pay by up to 30 per cent,” Bullingham said.

The FA’s announcement comes after the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the English players’ union, hit back at British government calls for players to take salary cuts and called for clarity on clubs’ plans for the money saved on wages.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock continued his attacks on football players over the weekend.

“The hospices of this country have traditionally been largely funded by charity and charity shops,” he told ITV News.

“Those shops have had to close so I’m putting more money – taxpayer’s money – into hospices to support them but why don’t our footballers club together and support our hospices and support the national effort that we’re all in?”

Those comments came after Hancock urged top-flight professionals to “take a pay cut and play their part” last week.

On 3rd April, the English Premier League suggested players take a 30 per cent wage cut or deferral, only for the PFA to issue a statement saying such a move could result in a UK£200 million (AU$401 million) tax deficit.

While the PFA insists its members want to make ‘significant financial contributions’, the players’ union warned the government that the Premier League’s suggested 30 per cent cut of an annual remuneration amounts to UK£500 million (AU$1.3 billion), of which around 40 per cent would be contributed to tax.

The PFA joined the Premier League, League Managers Association (LMA) and representatives from all clubs on a conference call on 4th April but nothing was agreed.

Talks will continue this week and PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has implored clubs to give the detailed financial information they had been expecting in order to make sure money goes to the right places.

“I think if they can’t do that and explain the position fully then they have every right to expect players to mistrust what is happening,” he said.

Asked if players were concerned about where the money would go, Taylor said: “Exactly that. They want the complete due diligence. They’re not stupid. They’ve not just got their brains in their feet. They want to know the reasons for it and where it’s going.”

The issue of football players pay has become a hot topic in the UK since top-flight clubs started placing some non-playing staff on the government’s furlough scheme.

Liverpool have become the fifth Premier League club to embrace that framework, but reigning champions Manchester City have confirmed that they will not be furloughing employees at the tax payer’s expense.

Manchester United’s players will donate 30 per cent of one month’s wages to local hospitals and health services in the first major coronavirus gesture from a full Premier League squad.

Chairman Ed Woodward approached captain Harry Maguire with the idea, according to the Daily Mail, and it was given full backing by the players.

United are continuing to pay all match day staff during the crisis and have not sought to use the government’s furlough scheme designed to help struggling companies protect jobs.

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Tigres secures deal for new 65,000 seat stadium

Mexican soccer giants Tigres UANL have secured a deal to see a brand new 65,000 seat stadium ready by 2025.

Mexican soccer giants Tigres UANL have secured a deal to see a brand new 65,000 seat stadium ready by 2025.

The stadium will be based in the heart of San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, and will be replacing the old 42,000 seat stadium, known as Estadio Universitario, The previous stadia has been the home of Tigres since 1967.

The new stadium was presented on Thursday, January 13 at a meeting that included Governor of Nuevo León and Samuel García, through a Memorandum of Understanding to commence construction.

Tigres’ future home was designed by architecture firm Populous and envisioned to be entirely privately financed at a cost of $445 million AUD.

The stadium’s features will include a retractable pitch, as well as being able to host concerts and international sporting events like American football games.

As part of the overall plans, the stadium will include separate changing rooms for Tigres’ men’s and women’s teams, while the exterior stadia complex will complement with a hotel, shopping centre and restaurants. The venue is also intended to act as an incubator for local business, and will also have classrooms catering for the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL).

Juego de Pelota principle partner, César Esparza:

“There is going to be another setting for concerts and sport,” he said.

“It is a stadium prepared to host all sports, this stadium will be the postcard of Nuevo León.

“Stadium events will not be expensive for fans, as long as it has that capacity it will allow us to create different price levels for events, becoming inclusive for all people.”

UANL Tigres parent company member, Mauricio Doehner:

“Today Tigres is internationally recognised and we are always striving for more,” he said.

“Of course we deserve a new stadium, it will be the headquarters in this new era. Today, Tigres is not only a benchmark in Mexican soccer, but also on an International stadium. The Estadio Universitario has given greatness to Club Tigres and all the fans, we will honour it forever.”

Melbourne Victory names Marnong Estate as Premier Partner

Melbourne Victory has announced Marnong Estate as a Premier Partner for the 2021/22 Isuzu Ute A-League Men's season.

Melbourne Victory has announced Marnong Estate as a Premier Partner for the 2021/22 Isuzu Ute A-League Men’s season.

Marnong Estate is the Official Naming Rights Partner of the A-Lounge, providing its premium wines in the A-Lounge and Corporate Suite Foyers for tasting sessions, as well as in all Melbourne Victory’s Corporate Suite drinks packages.

As one of Melbourne’s biggest wineries, Marnong Estate also has its own boutique accommodation, as well as being able to host weddings and other functions.

Melbourne Victory Managing Director, Caroline Carnegie:

“We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Marnong Estate and bringing a taste of their premium experience to our match days,” she said.

“Marnong Estate is an incredible facility that contributes to the local community by providing an authentic cultural and historical experience and we would love our members and fans to experience the beautiful views, food and wine as they visit Marnong itself.”

Marnong Estate General Manager, Stewart Malone:

“We are very passionate about wine, hospitality, and agriculture. The other thing we are passionate about is football and there is no greater opportunity for us than to partner with Melbourne Victory and their incredible match day experience,” he said.

“We’re excited to promote our premium wine, amazing dining options and the estate’s farm-to-fork facilities in front of one of the most dedicated fan bases in Australia.”

For more on Marnong Estate, you can find it here.

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