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Footballers who 'put in a shift' are to be rewarded

Football players who regularly 'put in a shift' during games will see their endeavours rewarded under a new bonus payment system today. The FA ruling will see hard-working pros, typically found in defensive-midfield roles, who run about a lot, make some crunching tackles, and generally look industrious but not flash, receive a shift-working premium.

In a ruling brokered by Robbie Savage and Martin Keown, who have highlighted the plight of these lynchpins of the sport in their analysis of every bloody game for the last 20 years, the shift premium payment will initially benefit only a handful of players, in particular James Milner. However, back-dated payments could also be made to Stephen Gerrard, Paul Ince, Jimmy Bullard and thousands of less known players who may make retrospective claims for the historical shifts they definitely put in over many seasons.

The payment will be set at 110% of their usual wage, to reflect the weekly effort that pundits and armchair fans suggest that these players put in on the pitch.

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', something seen to be 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 also 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 and use route 1 during away games in addition to their regular duties.

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