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Hammers players in video conference on pay

CandH Exclusive by Hugh Southon

West Ham’s first team squad will meet in a video conference call to discuss the 30 per cent pay cut proposal towards the back end of the week.

We reported last night that there were problems getting everybody together and that players had been approached individually by telephone.

However, this morning we have learned that the video conference has been arranged and that captain Mark Noble will be a key player in it and will be in charge of relaying the squad’s feelings back to the club.

With the pressure coming on players nationally from the public and politicians it now looks impossible for there to be any other outcome than an acceptance by the players.

And that will follow the decision by all senior on and off-field management to also accept the cuts although we understand that there remains a continuing communication between the Hammers and the Professional Footballers Association.

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Fitness coach urges players to boycott season resumption

Premier League players have been urged to boycott resuming the season by former Manchester City and Wales football fitness coach Raymond Verheijen.

The Premier League and EFL are currently suspended indefinitely but discussions regarding completing the season are ongoing, with a number of plans being mooted that would see the campaign resume in the summer months.

Verheijen fears that the Premier League could take a chance on the health and fitness of the players in a bid to save billions in lost TV revenue – and he urged the game’s biggest names to save football from its own greed.

“The season must be cancelled to protect the players. I have spoken to players about the situation and they are ­worried about being told to play ­before the crisis is over,” he told the Mirror.

“They are scared about ­becoming infected by a ­team-mate or an opponent.

“So that’s the first thing the football authorities need to address. And the second issue that needs to be raised is the ­possibility of ­players suffering career-threatening injuries.

“Everyone understands that there is huge financial pressure on the game and we all want to see football resumed as quickly as possible – but only when the crisis is over and the reality is that it won’t be ­possible to finish the current season by the end of the summer.

“Most players don’t have the ­influence to say, ‘I am not playing until I know it’s safe’. Only the players’ unions and the best footballers in the world have that kind of power.

“It would be a powerful message if the stars of the Premier League joined big names like Messi and ­Ronaldo to say, ‘None of us will play until the game is safe’.”

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An important message from Paolo Di Canio

West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio has taken to social media to share an important message.

The former Hammer said ‘If we want to take back out freedom,  we have to be smart, respectful and have to stay home’ 

‘This is the only way we will be able to hug each other again just like before and sing your song’

‘I’m forever blowing bubbles, Pretty bubbles in the air, They fly so high, nearly reach the sky,
Then like my dreams they fade and die. Fortune’s always hiding, I’ve looked everywhere, I’m forever blowing bubbles, Pretty bubbles in the air. United, Come on your Irons’

‘For you, come on lads!’



Now PFA uses NHS to argue player pay deferrals!

PFA boss Gordon Taylor

The Professional Footballers’ Association says proposals for a 30% pay cut for Premier League players would be “detrimental to our NHS”.

And according to the BBC the PFA also called on the league to increase its own £20m charity pledge.

The league wants players to take a 30% salary cut in order to protect jobs but the union says that equates to more than £500m in wage reductions, and a loss in tax contributions of more than £200m to the UK government.

The union also questioned Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s public criticism of footballers’ salaries during a news conference on Thursday.

“What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS?” the statement read. “Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?”

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport tweeted: “Concerned about the turn football talks have taken…People do not want to see infighting in our national sport at a time of crisis.

“Football must play its part to show that the sport understands the pressures its lower paid staff, communities and fans face.”

The PFA said all Premier League players “will play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times”.

ClaretandHugh says: There should be no discussion, no argument, no hard line contradictory views from the PFA. We are into a situation where we all simply do what we must do and the simple and elementary truth is that footballers – as probably most of them we are quite sure understand and accept – HAVE to play their part. For the PFA  to be arguing on behalf of the NHS when all that is required for them is to give the nod to the players to do what they believe is right. This is not a matter of Union discussion but a matter of morality and doing the right thing. The PFA is showing itself to be the unacceptable side of the game. Just do the right thing because it’s precisely this sort of approach that’s seeing football being shamed – the public relations is appalling among everybody living in the real world. 

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Hammers legend to be father again

Hammers legend Julian Dicks is expecting his third child in August his partner Lisa has revealed.

Lisa revealed on social media  It’s official. Me and Julian are expecting a girl. Looking perfect and all. Looking forward to August With these two big sisters to take after, she’s gonna be just fine Jessica Dicks & Kattie”

Julian has two grown-up twin daughters from his first marriage to Kay but this will be his first with Lisa.

The 51-year-old former player is working at Championship side West Bromwich Albion with Slaven Bilic.

Dicks spent two spells at West Ham, playing for the Club for ten years before finally saying goodbye to the pitch in 1999. Save for a season with Liverpool, Dicks was a consistent figure in the Irons’ line-up, so much so that he’s in the top 30 players when it comes to West Ham appearances.

Dicks featured in 326 matches for West Ham, putting him level with Tony Cottee. Only 27 other legends have played more times for the club, including Billy Bonds, Bobby Moore, Trevor Brooking and current captain Mark Noble.

Good Luck Julian and Lisa


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Confusion over players wage cuts

Claret and Hugh understand there is confusion over proposed Premier League wage cuts of who is in charge with clubs likely to talk to their own players in the absence of any timescale by the PFA.

It had been hoped that the PFA would agree to a collective agreement with their members possibly with a vote and the same reductions would be applied across the top-flight league.

The proposal on the table last Friday was a 30% reduction in annual wages if the Premier League season with the money was refunded if the season was completed in front of crowds.

It is believed the players would get a 50% refund of equalling a 15% pay cut if the remaining games were played behind closed doors.

On Saturday West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady she was about to go on the Premier League/ PFA conference call on her birthday.

Writing in her weekly column in the Sun , Brady has hit out at the PFA’s stance on the situation.

“Across the country all football clubs’ operations have effectively ceased, there is no matchday revenue, no sale of season tickets for next season, no retail outlets open and online retail businesses have closed as it is not essential work.

“With no date for restarting the league, this is having severe financial implications.

“Bearing in mind the majority of the broadcast revenue goes to pay the players’ wages it is unthinkable that the PFA don’t seem to understand this.

Clubs are hedging their bets by having individual discussions with their top players and sources close to one player yesterday revealed that captain Mark Noble has been asked to put the offer to the senior team.  Academy players under a certain threshold will not be affected by the wage reduction.

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Liverpool criticised for government subsidy request

Liverpool has been accused of betraying their “morals and values” for their move to furlough non-playing staff during the suspension of football.  Premier League leaders Liverpool said they would top up the public money made available from the government to ensure staff on temporary leave received their full salaries.

It follows similar moves by Spurs, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Norwich to take advantage of the job retention scheme, under which employers can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ wages. The rich football clubs have faced media and public backlashes as a result.

West Ham have so far stood firm and adopted a wait and see approach to furloughing non-playing staff who cannot work from home.

Yesterday West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady confirmed a Claret and Hugh story we run last Monday which said West Ham standby their staff

Brady said on social media on Saturday ‘All staff at West Ham United, full and part-time have been paid 100% of their wages, ensuring everyone is safe and looked after is our most important priority, regardless of what you think’

The Hammers have yet to rule out completely that they will never furlough staff but have no immediate plans to do so.



UK government could suffer from Premier League wage cut

With politicians wading into the row over Premier League players wages, the UK Government could end up a big loser to the tune of hundreds of millions of tax pounds when wage reductions are finally made.

The Premier League players are paid nearly £2.9 billion collectively in wages by the twenty top-flight clubs combined each year and with tax loopholes for players no more, the footballers must pay around 45% of their wages to HMRC in PAYE tax.

With up to £700m collected in income tax, national insurance and employers NI annually the taxman would see the tax revenues from the Premier League reduce along with the players’ wages.

If players cut their annual wages by 30% as has been suggested in the last twenty-four hours then the government could see £200m less collected in taxes as a direct consequence.

There is no simple solution to the problem but the government could lose just as much as the players.

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Hammers forced to wait for players pay decision

Difficult days for skipper Nobes

West Ham are likely to be waiting several days before the first team squad make a collective decision on whether they will  accept a 30 per cent pay deferral as a consequence of the current situation.

Claret and Hugh can reveal that there can be no immediate response from the squad following skipper Mark Noble putting the Premier League chairmen’s proposal to them yesterday(Fri).

That’s essentially because the squad can’t  come together to discuss the situation  and the conversations on their positions have so far had to be discussed at the end of telephones.

However, CandH has learned – through one player – that they are all aware that the squad are aware of mounting pressure  from the public and members of government.

But getting a quick collective decision on such an important issue with – in one or two cases interpreters required – will take a few days to sort out.

Our source believes that a decision could take anything up to a week with Mark Noble deeply involved in trying to help find the solution.

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Manchester United transfer loan rumour is plain barmy

Reports that Manchester United player Alexis Sanchez could join West Ham this summer are pure fiction.

The Chilean has struggled since he arrived at Old Trafford in January 2018. Lacking the vigour, verve and sharpness that saw him shine at Arsenal, Sanchez has scored just five goals and added nine assists. Last summer, United sent Sanchez on a year-long loan to Inter Milan. United shipped him out on a temporary exit.

Sanchez is reported to be United’s second-highest-paid player on £500,000 per week or some £26m per year with his parent club prepared to subsidise his loan to the tune of £300,000 per week.

Even at £200,000 per week, he would break the Hammers current wage structure where the highest earner is to thought to be around £120,000 per week.

Add the factor that West Ham have made loses of around £40m already and David Moyes wants to lower the average age of the squad by signing 25 years or younger this rumour seems to be a non-starter.  The 3o-year-old

Italian publication FC Inter News is the outlet to link Sanchez to the Hammers.

The report suggests the Hammers have contacted his agent Fernando Felicevich to ask for ‘information’ ahead of a possible summer move.

Agent talk, we will leave it there!