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Wayne Rooney’s fury at becoming a political football

Making his point: Rooney believes footballers are being made scapegoats during the crisis PICTURE: PA

WAYNE ROONEY has accused the government and Premier League of placing footballers in a ‘no-win situation’ over pay cuts, branding their interventions ‘a disgrace’.

The former England captain, who now plays for Derby, believes players have become ‘scapegoats’ in the coronavirus crisis.

‘If the government approached me to help support nurses financially or buy ventilators I’d be proud to do so — as long as I knew where the money was going,’ Rooney said in his Sunday Times column. ‘I’m in a position where I could give something up. Not every footballer is in the same position.

‘The profession has been put on the spot with a demand for 30 per cent pay cuts across the board. Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats? How the past few days have played out is a disgrace.

‘First the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said Premier League players should take a pay cut. He was supposed to be giving the nation the latest on the biggest crisis we’ve faced in our lifetimes.

‘Was he desperate to divert attention from his government’s handling of this pandemic?’

And Rooney believes the Premier League pre-empted ongoing talks by going public in urging players to take a 30 per cent pay cut.

‘It feels as if it’s to shame the players — to force them into a corner where they have to pick up the bill for lost revenue. It is now a no-win situation.’