Gary Neville: ‘Ban clubs from buying anyone if they have furloughed staff or cut players’ wages’

Gary Neville has claimed any Premier League clubs who have furloughed staff or cut players’ wages must be subject of a transfer ban this summer.

Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are controversially among the high profile sides who have taken up the scheme from the government which helps businesses pay 80 per cent of staff wages during the financial crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Spurs are looking to raise funds this summer and could do so by selling Harry Kane for a world record £200m, with Manchester United in the hunt for the striker


When an employee is placed on furlough they are temporarily put on a leave of absence and not paid, although they remain on the payroll, meaning that they do not lose their job.

This could be because there is no work for these employees, or that the company is not able to afford to pay them, because of the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

In the United Kingdom, the Government is offering to pay 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s wages, up to £2,500 per month, until they are able to resume their job full time. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will last for at least three months from March 1.

But Neville claims any side looking to capitalise on such a windfall by rebuilding their team should be banned from doing so having pleaded poverty to all their staff on and off the pitch in regards to paying wages.

Neville said on Sky Sports: ‘What I would say in the bigger picture, these transfer discussions, Kane for £200m, Sancho for £100m, big-money signings completely undermines the discussions they are having with players.

‘If you are having a 30 per cent pay cut across the board and you are talking about spending a billion on players, you may have to put a transfer embargo in place. It is very difficult for players to see a transfer for £200m a few weeks later.

‘It doesn’t feel right to me. There is no smoke without fire, I would suggest the Premier League stop this and put a transfer embargo in place on all clubs that are trying to reduce their wages. Players are having their wools pulled over their eyes by clubs.’

Along with Spurs and Newcastle, Norwich, Bournemouth and Sheffield United have been criticised for placing their non-playing staff under furlough, meaning the Government will cover 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 per month.

Neville’s comments are also aimed at clubs including West Ham United and Southampton who have come to an agreement with their playing staff over wage deferrals.

Many Premier League clubs have been struggling during the pandemic though with no source of income due to the nationwide lockdown. 

More could follow a similar path of the seven clubs in looking to limit expenditure, especially with no clear sign of when they will be playing again.

Chelsea are understood to be holding amicable talks between managing director Marina Granovskaia and captain Cesar Azpilicueta which are expected to reach a conclusion soon.

However Manchester United and Manchester City have already publicly stated they will not be placing non-playing staff on furlough, while Liverpool will do likewise after the Reds made a U-turn on a decision to do so following huge public backlash.

Gary Neville says Premier League clubs should be banned from making transfers if they have used the government's furlough scheme

Gary Neville says Premier League clubs should be banned from making transfers if they have used the government's furlough scheme

Gary Neville says Premier League clubs should be banned from making transfers if they have used the government’s furlough scheme


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