£80,000-a-week footballers fail to take pay cuts to save club cleaners

On the day Portsmouth announce they are making 85 staff redundant, it emerges only two players offered to help out

The reputation of football's playing fraternity was not enhanced yesterday when it emerged that 85 people had been shown the door by financially stricken Portsmouth while only two players had offered to take pay cuts to save the fate of the less well-off.

David James, the England international goalkeeper, is understood to have been one of the players who told the manager, Avram Grant, a week ago that he was willing to take a drop in salary, though it appears that Portsmouth, the first Premier League side to enter into administration, have not yet been able to take up that offer. Administrator Andrew Andronikou is of the view that it will be easier to sell the club on if he maintains the core of the playing staff and keeps them contented, though he hopes the Professional Footballers' Association – the players' union – will encourage players to take lower wages.

Mr Andronikou announced the redundancies – including those of the training ground manager, youth academy coaches and warehouse staff – at a press conference late yesterday afternoon.

He also revealed that the chief executive, Peter Storrie, whom many had expected to see on his way out of Fratton Park, has taken a 40 per cent wage cut and will now earn "significantly less than half a million pounds".

The biggest spectre hanging over Portsmouth remains the High Court proceedings brought by HMRC. Mr Andronikou met HMRC on Tuesday afternoon and expects to receive a letter this morning telling him whether Customs are willing to allow the club to reschedule its outstanding debt or reach a settlement figure, ahead of a High Court hearing next Monday.

That much is inconsequential for Tug Wilson, the training ground manager, who lost his job yesterday. "It's been a very bad day for a lot of people but some of those laid off need the [salary] to pay mortgages, although I'm not in that position," he said.

A staff member from the club's youth academy emerged from a meeting to be told he was being axed with immediate effect. He had offered what many players had not – to no avail. "I asked them if there was any dialogue about possibly taking a pay cut and they told me that hadn't been considered," he said. "I'm still taking it in. I hope there's a buyer found [for the club] – there might still be a chance of getting my job back. I'm absolutely gutted."

Warehouse worker Mike Crawford walked out before his scheduled meeting as he said he knew he was going to be axed. He said the staff members who were being fired were being taken into the boardroom, while those who are staying were ushered into Mr Storrie's office to renegotiate their contracts. "What they're doing is going past all common decency. I've just been kept hanging on – I had to find out about my meeting yesterday in the local paper," he said.

The club's media-relations manager left last week, dismayed by the events which have befallen the 2008 FA Cup winners. The switchboard staff evidently followed him out of the door, as calls to the club switchboard elicited an "unobtainable" dial tone last night.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor