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PFA explains position as players urged to take pay cuts

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The Professional Footballers Association is explaining why it has not yet accepted deferred pay cuts during the coronavirus suspension, and the English government is not withholding its opinion.

As non-playing staff accept furloughs or worse across the tiers of English football and players in other European nations accept pay cuts, the PFA has not found an arrangement to its liking.

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Health secretary Matthew Hancock addressed the situation in his daily public briefing.

From Sky Sports:

“Given the sacrifices people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice and gone into work and caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution; take a pay cut and play their part.”

That’s a heavy statement, one that surely resonates with all.

The PFA issued a post on its site that runs up nearly 1000 words on its position, stating that a big part of its concern is representing League One and League Two players. Those members do not receive the massive pay packets of PL stars.

Basically, what the PFA is requesting is time to make an educated decision considering the books and futures of every club are different. They’d like to see those books to make sure that if players are making a sacrifice that shareholders are as well.

From ThePFA.com:

We fully accept that players will have to be flexible and share the financial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to secure the long-term future of their own club and indeed the wider game. Our advice going out to players at this point reflects that expectation.

In addition, the PFA is also expecting to contribute financially to any solutions agreed upon.

Like everyone else in the country, we are trying to deal with a situation that has never been faced. Our spirits have been lifted seeing communities come together to support each other. We have been proud to see many of our own members and clubs step up to support the NHS, to help children who would usually benefit from free school meals, donating to food banks and other charitable donations to those affected by this crisis. Much of this has been done privately and without publicity.

Obviously there will be a resolution to this soon, but it’s a complex and layered situation. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe became the first PL boss to take a voluntary pay cut on Wednesday, with Brighton’s Graham Potter following suit.

Portsmouth players test positive for coronavirus

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Four players from English side Portsmouth have tested positive for coronavirus, Pompey have announced.

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The entire Pompey squad and staff were tested after their FA Cup last 16 defeat at home to Arsenal on March 2, as Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus 10 days later and the entire Gunners playing squad and staff were placed into self-isolation.

In a statement released by the League One club they confirmed James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Sean Raggett and Haji Mnoga have coronavirus.

“They are all self-isolating in accordance with government guidelines and will continue to follow medical advice. The club have also notified Public Health England. All players and first team staff were tested earlier in the week and we are still awaiting approximately half of the results of these tests.

“Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘I received the news last night and immediately spoke to Kenny [Jackett] and head physio Bobby Bacic. Kenny and I then spoke to all three players. Football is not immune from this virus and I can assure you that it only really hits home when those that you know contract it. All three players were in good spirits and perfectly calm – showing mild or no symptoms – and are looking forward to overcoming it as quickly as possible.’

Bolton, Cannon and Raggett were in the squad to play against Arsenal in the FA Cup but there is no suggestion that that is when they caught the virus. The same trip have all played in Portsmouth’s two league games since their defeat against Arsenal, as they lost at Peterborough and drew with Fleetwood Town at home.

Portsmouth are the latest team to be hit by the spread of coronavirus as Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive, plus multiple players from Alaves in Spain, plus Sampdoria and Juventus in Italy have also tested positive for COVID-19.

American mid Gooch scores beauty for League One’s Sunderland (video)

Lynden Gooch scores beauty for Sunderland (video)
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Lynden Gooch has stuck with Sunderland through thick and thin, and most of it’s been thin, so it’s been easy for USMNT fans to lose track of the midfielder in League One.

Gooch scored a beauty for Black Cats on Sunday, cutting atop the box to spin a shot inside the netting to give Phil Parkinson’s side a very lead. Sunderland went on to beat Doncaster Rovers 2-1 at Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday.

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The American midfielder made his first team debut for Sunderland when they were still a Premier League outfit, and has stayed with the club through their drop two divisions. He has a contract with the side through the 2021/22 season.

Gooch celebrated his 24th birthday on Tuesday and has put together five goals in 18 matches for the Black Cats this season. Sunderland sits 13th with 31 points, five points off the playoff places.

For his career, Gooch has 14 goals and 14 assists in 107 matches. Eleven of those matches came in the Premier League, when he earned four caps for the USMNT.

Racism arrests made at League One game

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PETERBOROUGH, England — Two fans of English third-tier club Doncaster were arrested on suspicion of racism during a match at Peterborough on Thursday.

[ MORE: Klopp runs out of superlatives as Liverpool go 13 points clear ]

Peterborough, which announced the arrests in the away end, said it was working with Doncaster and police on the incident.

Doncaster said it would issue a “substantial club ban” for anyone involved in racist conduct, and would require them to undergo “educational actions” before being allowed into games again.

“As a club we abhor racism in any form,” said Doncaster, which won the League One match 3-0.

[ MORE: Rodgers: Leicester ‘know where we are’ after Liverpool humbling ]

The incident comes as Premier League club Tottenham continues to search for the perpetrators of racial abuse reported by Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger in a game on Sunday. A Chelsea fan was arrested at the same game on suspicion of racially abusing Tottenham forward Son Heung-min.

The Professional Footballers’ Association has called for a government-led inquiry into racism in English football.

Man arrested after English soccer player reports homophobia

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TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.

Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.

Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.

In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.

Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”