Sat, 08 Aug 2020

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that footballers have become an "easy target" during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 44-year-old believes that he has no doubt that all players want to help where they can despite the lockdown sanctions placed by the government.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock publicly scrutinized players, particularly in the Premier League, for their lack of their support.

Hancock said that majority of the stars in world football are not helping despite being well-paid individuals - with some clubs having cut players salaries by at least 30% to compensate non-playing staff.

However, speaking to football analyst and former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville, Solskjaer was quick to defend all footballers.

"For me football is an easy target sometimes," Solskjaer said as quoted by Sky Sport News.

"For me it's unfair to call on any individual or footballers as a group because I already know players do a great amount of work in the community, and players are doing a lot to help this situation.

"Discussions are taking place between players and clubs, what kind of contribution they'll make. It's not easy for anyone, and to be called out is not fair for me.

"Mistakes are being made and have been made by loads of people and that's how we learn as well. Now it's about making better decisions, good decisions, I think we all want to help the NHS, the communities, and I think it's important every single club do what they think is right.

"We're all good people, and I'm sure we all want this to be over with as soon as possible. For me it's about following the guidelines from the government as well."

Solskjaer added: "First of all, we are role models, sometimes we're heroes in football, at the moment we have to take a back step, the real heroes are the workers on the front line, I think everyone appreciates and admires what they're doing

"Let's follow the guidelines, but football is very important for mental health for many, and for communities and society.

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