Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton thinks clubs in Scotland will have to ask players to take an even more drastic pay cut beyond any already agreed, writing in his Daily Record column.
As we know, Scottish football is facing an unprecedented crisis that could play financial havoc with clubs for the foreseeable future.
With football authorities due to meet with government officials tomorrow to discuss the future of sport in the country, many people are worried about the implications all this will have on the clubs they love at all levels of the game.
Celtic are not immune to the realities of the crisis, with the government’s furlough scheme used and a significant reduction in the playing staff’s salary already agreed.
Sutton thinks things could get even more drastic for players though if they want to ensure they have jobs moving forward.
He’s proposed that many stars, from high-earners to less wealthy players, in Scotland may have to take as much as a 90% pay cut.
Writing in The Daily Record, he said: “Even if there is some miracle and teams can play behind closed doors, clubs simply cannot run squads and staff which are needed for football on current outgoings with no matchday income. It’ll cost clubs tens of thousands plus the cost of test kits. It’s unfeasible.
“There really is only one way to think it can be done and it is drastic, but it might be the only option. Football clubs are going to have to go to their people and ask them, if at all possible, if they can somehow work for a very small wage.
“That has to be backed up with a promise that their jobs will be there and a return to full pay guaranteed when it is deemed acceptable for the fans to come back into stadiums and the door be unlocked along with the matchday revenue.
“When it comes to players and coaching staff, lay it on the line. We’re sorry, but there just isn’t any money. So here’s the deal. Instead of taking home £30,000 a week, you get £3,000 a week. Or if you get £2,000 a week, make it £200.”
While that may seem pretty far-fetched, the financial problems of the ongoing pandemic have yet to be fully communicated to supporters.
Celtic, perhaps wisely, have stayed pretty quiet on everything to date.
With staff members on the Scottish FA’s Joint Response Group however, we know the club are working away to try and find the best paths forward.
Other, smaller clubs have painted a pretty grim reality ahead for Scottish football and it could be that footballers have to show further financial sacrifice in order to allow clubs to function.
Whether that’s to the extent of a 90% cut or deferral is another matter but Sutton clearly thinks that kind of thing is on the cards.
Hopefully we get a clearer picture after tomorrow’s virtual meeting with the government takes place.