Players have enough cash to make a real gesture

Mo Farrah after missing out on a gold medal
				 Picture: Adam Davy

VERITY LUSH: Leave me to browse the make-up counter in peace

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I f your boss said he could no longer afford to pay you, would you simply shrug your shoulders and agree to walk away without any of the money you were owed? Probably not.

But we should’t let that persuade us that Pompey’s high-earning players have every right to stand their ground and insist on full payment if they are to leave Fratton Park prematurely.

In law, of course, they have what few would argue is a cast-iron case.

At the request of the club, they signed fixed-term contracts that are legally binding.

The problem now is that the circumstances in which Pompey’s former hierarchy agreed to wages of tens of thousands of pounds a week are markedly changed.

Tal Ben Haim, for example, with his reported income of £36,000 every seven days (almost £2m a year) is earning almost as much as would reasonably be expected to be paid to an entire team in League One, where Pompey now find themselves.

Such is the madness of football’s finances since the television big guns moved in. It was always likely to end in tears for someone and, despairingly, that has turned out to be Pompey’s legions of loyal and passionate supporters.

Yesterday, as it was suggested that Pompey could be liquidated in two weeks unless the wages impasse is resolved, some of them tried to persuade the high earners to agree to waive much of their entitlement.

There was no real sign of that plea having any effect.

And, as we say, in law there is no reason why players should forego what is due to them.

But unlike most of us, for whom sticking out for an entitlement would make a big difference to lifestyle, these are men who are already rolling in more money than the majority could ever hope to possess. They are men who must know the devastating effect the collapse of Pompey would have on so many thousands of lives.

And so today, we back fans in asking Pompey’s high earners to put aside the law and do the decent thing. Leave now for the sake of those who have much more to lose in life than you do.