They say in times of crisis you find out what people are truly about. We’re certainly learning these days that amongst the heartening tales of heroism, it’s also a prime moment for people to exhibit just how much of their ass they can show.
The Premier League has some choice fucksticks as well.
While the government officials trying to shift blame to the players for the unpaid wages and layoffs of non-playing employees of Tottenham is rancid in its own way, that shouldn’t distract attention from Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy going hat in hand to the gub’mint during this pandemic shutdown. Levy earned $3.75 million in bonuses last year. Were he to simply donate that to his 550 non-playing employees, it would amount to nearly $7,000 for each. Leaving Levy to somehow make do with the $5 million in earnings he have left.
His neighbors could look forward to him digging through their trash, clearly (given Spurs’ transfer activity over the past couple seasons, he’d probably be looking for a right back in there) What that $7,000 would mean to each employee certainly differs, but you’d have to believe it would make a difference to each. Especially at a time when millions will be applying for unemployment from much smaller businesses than Spurs.
Of course, Levy isn’t the worst owner, and it might not even be close. Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle FC, had certainly done more than enough by bringing possibly the most passionately supported club in the land to its knees over the years, including two relegations to the Championship. Newcastle’s stadium holds 60,000, and this is a team that has, in the past, and should now, be competing for Champions League spots. It scraps to avoid relegation simply because of Ashley’s greed and stubbornness. This is the kind of encounter Ashley should be having every day.
Of course, with evil Slimer impersonators like Ashley, they can always sink lower. Newcaste was the first Premier League club to lay off non-playing employees. Which in the UK means that they don’t have to pay any of them more than $3,000 a month. And the club will get all of that back through the government.
Did you think this was it for Ashley (net worth: $6.3 billion)? Of course not, friendo! Sharks are born swimming, and assholes keep being assholes. At the beginning of the UK’s shutdown to combat COVID-19, Ashley kept his sporting goods stores (Sports Direct) open, arguing they were essential due to the need for people to exercise at home. Finally, after uproar from the public and his own employees, Ashley begrudgingly stopped his plan to profiteer off a world crisis. He claimed a “misunderstanding,” even after lobbying the Prime Minister through Twitter, which apparently is how every bloated baby who can’t count to six operates these days.
The choice quote from Ashley’s “apology” was, “I would especially like to thank my Frasers Group employees, who have stood by the business in difficult times and are doing so currently,” instead of them operating out of fear of losing their job entirely for not showing up. And they clearly need every pound they can get.
Did I mention that Ashely soon may receive $420M in Saudi blood money to take over the club? Leave that part out, did I? Perhaps I needed the time to vomit up my ankles. The congregation of the truly sickening here is that stunning.
All of this stands in contrast to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players giving up 70 percent of their wages to help with non-playing staff. That includes star Lionel Messi, who makes $25 million a year. Though, as ESPN pointed out, that’s not totally the saintly gesture it first appears, as they very well may have been forced into it anyway.
As that article goes on to say, it’s going to be an interesting look for football clubs whenever normal business resumes and suddenly they’re throwing around $100M or more on individual transfers months after cutting salaries for everyone at the club. Sure, transfers generally are paid out over years, but signing up to pay money in the future you don’t have any guarantee you’ll have is how you end up like Leeds or worse. And they’d still have employees wondering why they were laid off before splashing a few countries’ GDP on a new midfielder.