Premier League players felt they were being put in a corner over coronavirus pay cuts - PFA chief

Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) chief Gordon Taylor criticised the government of the United Kingdom for putting Premier League players "into a corner".

Players were targeted by the government amid the coronavirus pandemic, told by health secretary Matt Hancock to "take a pay cut and play their part".

Premier League players launched #PlayersTogether – a project to help generate funds for the National Health Service (NHS).

Taylor criticised the government's handling of the issue, accusing it of cornering players and being counterproductive. 

"Premier League players felt that they were being put into a corner – particularly by government," he told beIN SPORTS' Keys & Gray Show on Thursday.

"They also saw the irony that even if they took a pay cut…that money would be lost to the government…and that would be counterproductive."

Taylor added: "Players are prepared to play their part. They were concerned that they were being put into a corner to take cuts, when we've always worked on wage deferrals."

Taylor also felt it was wrong of the UK government to single out Premier League players.

"I find it quite extraordinary that government doesn't realise – and it should do, because of what the game puts back into the economy, the money that football spends on its community initiatives, the tax it pays," he said.

"And just to highlight footballers when there are many other sportsmen, bankers, hedge funds – I could give you a long list of people in jobs for life whose income is more.

"Footballers have reached the top of a mountain that has took a long, long time to climb – and they get what they deserve."

More than 95,700 people have died from coronavirus worldwide, with the UK's death toll exceeding 7,900.

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford recently explained the players were eager to make sure their money made its way to the frontline as the world struggles against the proliferation of the virus.

"For us, we want to help in the best way possible and getting money to the right places is a massive thing," he said to BT Sport.

"It took a lot of time, a lot of conversations between the players and we came to a decision that this was the best way to do it. The club have supported that, so everyone is happy.

"You can get some backlash if you try to help but don't do it in the best way possible, so we wanted to take our time with the decision, and we did that."