Ole Gunnar Solskjaer waded into the debate over pay cuts during football’s enforced break and claimed players are an “easy target”.
Solskjaer spoke out after Health Secretary Matt Hancock called for Premier League players to “take a pay cut and play their part” amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Manchester United boss Solskjaer hit back, saying discussions about salary sacrifices are ongoing and insisting players want to play their part by giving up a portion of their wages.
“For me, football is an easy target sometimes,” said Solskjaer.
“”For me, it’s unfair to call on any individual or footballers as a group, because I already know players do a great amount of work in the community, and players are doing a lot to help this situation.
“Discussions are taking place between players and clubs, what kind of contribution they’ll make. It’s not easy for anyone, and to be called out is not fair for me.
“Mistakes are being made and have been made by loads of people and that’s how we learn as well.
“Now it’s about making better decisions, good decisions, I think we all want to help the NHS, the communities, and I think it’s important every single club do what they think is right.”
Solskjaer said players want to contribute to the fight against coronavirus, but pointed out those making a difference now are NHS staff and those dealing with the crisis on the frontline.
“We’re all good people and I’m sure we all want this to be over with as soon as possible,” said Solskjaer. “For me, it’s about following the guidelines from the government as well.
“First of all, we are role models. Sometimes we’re heroes in football, but at the moment we have to take a back step.
“The real heroes are the workers on the frontline, I think everyone appreciates and admires what they’re doing.
“Let’s follow the guidelines, but football is very important for mental health for many, and for communities and society.”