Dimitri Payet defends not taking pay cut during coronavirus pandemic


Payet is Marseille’s biggest star (Picture: Getty)

Dimitri Payet has defended his decision to not take any pay cut on the £100,000-a-week contract he earns at Marseille.

The former West Ham star is the club’s top earner, but like many Ligue 1 sides, Marseille have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the cancellation of the 2019/20 season.

Many Ligue 1 sides convinced players to take wage cuts, some as much as 50 per cent and Payet has now explained why he is not willing to do the same.

‘Everyone has had their say on this matter,’ he told Le Journal de l’ile de La Reunion.

‘My position was clear and obvious. The player that I am is also the father of a family.

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‘Like everyone, I have significant financial outlays to maintain, and engagements to keep.

‘My role is to defend my interests and those of my family, without putting the club in danger, with everyone knowing how attached I am to it [Marseille].’

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Payet took a pay cut to return to France when he left West Ham in 2017 and Marseille were declared runners up to Paris Saint-Germain when the rest of the campaign was called off.

There will be no sporting events in France until September and former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas made good on his promise to deliver Champions League football to Marseille.

Villas-Boas has now agreed to a contract extension, much to the delight of his star playmaker.

‘[Villas-Boas] had all the support from the locker room,’ Payet said.

‘A year ago, few of us would have seen us in second place in the standings with such a small squad. He did whatever it took to be rewarded for achieving this goal.

‘He is still with us. He wants to continue the adventure. This is what counts today. The recent management of the coach shows [Marseille] have grown in crisis management

‘When we say that Marseille is a family, it’s not just words. We really are together, without listening to outside opinions. We are united when it comes to the club.’

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