Garbutt on football’s financial support and health secretary Matt Hancock’s ‘undermining’ comments
Luke Garbutt has insisted footballers were always ready to do their bit to support the fight against coronavirus.
Garbutt, on loan at Ipswich from Premier League Everton, is part of a large group of top flight players who will be supporting NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) in the coming weeks and months as part of the #PlayersTogether initiative.
The voluntary initiative will see Premier League players support NHS workers, volunteers and patients throughout the country’s battle with the virus, with the move announced after health secretary Matt Hancock twice called on highly-paid footballers to ‘take a pay cut and play their part’.
Garbutt believes those comments were unfair.
“From my point of view, his comments were a little bit undermining of football players because they do a lot for communities and a lot that is unheard of,” Garbutt said.
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“Just because footballers get paid a lot of money, it doesn’t mean they don’t do a lot of good for communities.
“I don’t know whether it was a little bit harsh to just call out players straight away. To put that forward aggressively and to try and undermine footballers doesn’t really sit right with me.”
MORE: ‘I wanted to prove Ipswich wrong... I think I did that’ - Gaardsoe on his Town departure and ‘really annoying’ retirement at just 27Garbutt pointed towards the Blues’ own charitable arm, the newly-relaunched Community Trust, as an example of the good the game does throughout the year.
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“Ipswich is massive in the community,” he said.
“This season I’ve seen it first hand that they do a lot for the community. It’s a family focused club and the fans have a good connection with the players. They will see what the players do to commit themselves in the community, I don’t think that goes unnoticed with most supporters.
“Everton is a huge community club as well. It does a lot for the community. The fans will have a lot of admiration for the players and what they do.”
The Ipswich squad remain in discussion with club owner Marcus Evans regarding a potential wage deferral, which would see players conditionally give up 25% of their wages at a time when the club has lost significant areas of its income. Manager Paul Lambert has previously indicated he would be willing to do the same.
The club have placed the vast majority of their non-playing staff on furlough leave, as part of the government’s scheme which pays 80% of employees’ wages. Evans is topping up salaries to ensure all employees receive their full wage.