Stakhanovite football players who regularly ‘put in a shift’ during games will see their endeavours rewarded under new irregular working payment laws which came into force today. The new ruling will see hard-working pros, typically found in defensive-midfield roles, who run about a lot but don’t touch the ball very often, receive a shift-working premium.
In a ruling brokered by Robbie Savage, who has highlighted the plight of these lynchpins of the sport after every game since 2008, the shift premium payment will initially benefit only a handful of players, notably James Milner and Michael Carrick. However, back-dated payments could also be made to Stephen Gerrard, Paul Ince and thousands of less known players who have put in a shift for their clubs over the course of many seasons.
The payment will be set at 110% of their usual wage, to reflect the weekly effort they each put in on the pitch. According to club accountants, it will be paid into the players’ bank accounts immediately after the full 90 minutes at the end of the day.
The new laws come just weeks after Chris Waddle won a mass action for the same players, arguing that they should be able to claim tax relief on their ‘good engine’, as this is essential to their particular set of work duties. Waddle is also calling for better protective clothing for these players who regularly wear their hearts on their sleeve.
Calls are now being made to pay extra to players who put their bodies on the line week in week out, as soon as someone has established what and where the line is. No managers were available for comment today as many were in court themselves fighting for an increase in pay, after being expected to park the bus during away games in addition to their regular duties.