Nathan Redmond: Southampton player wage deferral was a "no-brainer"
Saints announced in early April that the squad had agreed to go without a percentage of their pay for three months
Last Updated: 06/05/20 11:17am
Nathan Redmond has described player wage deferrals across the Southampton squad as a "no-brainer" in order to help non-playing staff.
Saints announced in early April that the squad had agreed to go without a figure believed to be in the region of 10 per cent of their pay for three months to ensure non-playing staff received their salaries in full.
Saints were the first Premier League club to defer wages for first-team players, with Aston Villa (25 per cent), Watford (30 per cent), Sheffield United (10 per cent), West Ham (20 per cent) and Arsenal (12.5 per cent from majority of squad) following suit.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Redmond described the process, revealing the players thought up the idea before taking it to the board and owners.
"It's a no-brainer for us. When the talks, especially across the internet, were being formulated about Premier League players and their wages, there was already conversations going on behind closed doors about how we were going to play our part and help.
"We've got quite a close-knit group with the players we have, and we're in constant communication throughout the lockdown that's been happening so far.
"We were just talking about what we could do, we came up with some ideas about what was going to happen and what we could be potentially doing for the club and the people who work for the club.
"We nominated a few players to talk to the people at the board and the owners, and it was a really sharp turnaround to say this is what we're going to do and how we're going to go about it.
"It wasn't to say: 'Look at us, we're this or that.' We know what this club means to a lot of people in Southampton and the people who work here too.
"When you spend a lot of time at the training ground you realise how much not only the football but the environment and livelihood means to people here. For whatever reason it sat with everybody."
Around the same time in early April, Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested Premier League players "take a pay cut and play their part", which prompted an angry response from PFA chairman Gordon Taylor and others in the game.
Redmond said he was disheartened to hear others question and criticise the morality of players at an early stage, insisting the working-class background of many current footballers meant they could relate to the difficult situations many are currently in.
"I think from a footballer's point of view it was disheartening to hear a lot of people write the moral aspects of footballers off so early on.
"A lot of us come from working-class environments and families, we grew up in situations where people are working in two or three jobs to survive in the normal world without a furloughing situation.
"That was something that a lot of boys could relate to, so it was a no-brainer."