EXCLUSIVE: Get jabbed or it’s a PAY CUT! Premier League clubs could dock the wages of unvaccinated players for missed matches and training sessions – following the lead of Bayern Munich after German giants reprimanded five stars last month
- Sportsmail understands Premier League clubs are looking at whether they are eligible to dock the wages of players if they are unvaccinated and need to isolate
- Cases of players self-isolating in the top four leagues has rocketed this month
- Bayern Munich refused to pay five players for every training session and game they missed as part of rules that forced them into isolation
- Joshua Kimmich of Bayern has since changed his mind and will get vaccinated
Clubs across the Premier League are considering whether they can dock players’ wages if they are forced to self-isolate because they have not been vaccinated.
The number of players self-isolating across all four divisions has rocketed in the last fortnight due to new Government rules introduced following the spread of the Omicron variant. That has left many clubs with decimated squads and four matches postponed in only five days this week.
Last month, German giants Bayern Munich refused to pay five of their star players for every game or training day they missed after coming into contact with a Covid-positive person.
Premier League players who are not vaccinated could see their wages docked by their clubs
Last month Bayern Munich refused to pay Joshua Kimmich (right) and four other players for every training session and match they missed as part of self-isolation for being unvaccinated
And Sportsmail understands that a number of clubs in the top flight and Football League – fed-up with their refuseniks – are looking into whether they can legally follow suit, with Omicron threatening to wreak havoc with the calendar.
Within dressing rooms, pressure is growing on those who have not been jabbed to get vaccinated. Players feel their team-mates’ reluctance is placing the rest of the group at risk.
One high-profile player at a leading top-flight club was forced to self-isolate no fewer than four times last season, leaving officials there ‘bewildered’.
Several clubs have been liaising with the EFL over the legalities behind the move and there is a general consensus that they would need to ready themselves for battle with the Professional Footballers’ Association, who would surely be opposed to any such action.
Meanwhile, managers are also tearing their hair out at players who are still refusing to be vaccinated amid the new rules brought in as a result of the rapid spread of the new variant.
A number of clubs are struggling to conduct meaningful training sessions because of the requirement for unvaccinated players to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive. This is taking out numerous unjabbed players, even though they have tested negative.
Richarlison has received his jab but Premier League clubs have lagged in vaccination battle
One club in the Championship only have seven first-team players able to train at present.
Vaccination rates remain poor at many clubs in all four divisions, with at least three Premier League sides yet to inoculate 50 per cent of their players – much to the annoyance of club medical teams.
The Premier League’s vaccine data is a closely-guarded secret, but the last information they published on the subject on October 19 stated that 68 per cent of players were fully vaccinated.
Leeds, Brentford and Wolves led the way in the Premier League’s vaccination drive earlier this season and all three have double-jabbed all of their players, although Wolves are the only top-flight club who expect to meet the Prime Minister’s target of boosting all over 18s by the end of the month.
Government advisor Jonathan Van-Tam has repeatedly encouraged players to get jabbed
‘It’s just pure selfishness,’ said one official who did not wish to be named.
‘The other players are sick of it, the managers are sick of it and if matches get called off or – heaven forbid – we go back behind closed doors, the fans will be sick of it and they have every right to be.’
When Bayern got tough last month, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance were all told that they would be fined for absences which they were deemed to be to blame for.
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