Neville: Premier League transfer embargo could follow wage cuts

Premier League All-stars XI’s Gary Neville (L) talks with Premier League All-stars XI’s Jamie Carragher ahead of the Vincent Kompany testimonial football match between the Manchester City Legends and the Premier League All-stars XI at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on September 11, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville believes the Premier League may force clubs who are looking to cut player wages during the coronavirus crisis to accept transfer embargoes.

Clubs in England’s top-flight have requested players take up to a 30 percent pay hit in cuts and deferrals to help soften the estimated £1 billion ($1.2 billion) blow of potentially failing to complete the season.

A number of Premier League clubs, including Tottenham, have also been fiercely criticized for using public money to shore up the wages of non-playing staff before cutting the salaries of players.

Liverpool quickly reversed their decision to use the UK government’s furlough scheme, which guarantees 80 percent of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, after a backlash from supporters and the media last week.

Neville said Tottenham striker Harry Kane would be the “perfect” signing for his old club Manchester United, but dismissed speculation over the England captain’s future in the current climate.

“The Premier League spent £1.4 billion last summer on transfers and the previous three summers they also spent over £1 billion. If you’re trying to get 30 percent pay cuts from existing players, you may have to put a transfer embargo in place,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“Transfers are things the fans love, and we love players moving around, but it does seem to me to be awry when we’ve got such a behind-the-scenes war going on with respect to players taking cuts, the clubs needing support, and

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Nadal, Murray confirmed to play in virtual Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are among 12 players confirmed to play in the virtual Madrid Open tennis tournament this month.

David Goffin, John Isner, Karen Khachanov, Eugenie Bouchard, Kristina Mladenovic and Kiki Bertens will also participate from their homes in the April 27-30 online competition that is expected to be broadcast live on TV and social media channels.

Khachanov says “this initiative is interesting and it will bring back some competition in our sport. I’m looking forward to challenge my fellow players and show my skills to the tennis fans around the world.”

There will be 150,000 euros ($164,000) distributed in prize money for each of the men’s and women’s events. The winners then decide how much they want to donate to tennis players who are having a hard time financially without any tournaments to play.

Another 50,000 euros ($55,000) will be donated to reduce the social impact of the pandemic.

Each draw is expected to have 16 players competing.

The Madrid Open was one of more than 30 professional tournaments cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It had been scheduled for May 1-10.

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NASCAR’s Larson suspended for using racial slur in virtual race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kyle Larson was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and without pay by Chip Ganassi Racing on Monday for using a racial slur on a live stream during a virtual race.

The star driver said there was “no excuse” for his conduct, which drew pushback from sponsors.

NASCAR ordered Larson, who is half Japanese, to complete a sensitivity training course before he’s eligible for reinstatement.

Larson apologized in a video posted on his social media accounts.

“I made a mistake, said the word that should never, ever be said,” Larson said. “There is no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. It is just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community.

“I understand the damage is probably unrepairable and I own up to that. But I just want to let you all know how sorry I am and I hope everyone is staying safe during these crazy times.”

Larson was competing in an iRacing event Sunday night when he appeared to lose communication on his headset with his spotter. During a check of his microphone, he asked his spotter, “You can’t hear me?” That was followed by the N-word. The slur was directed at his spotter, who is white.

iRacing suspended Larson indefinitely Monday for “offensive and inappropriate” language, and the driver could face short- and long-term sponsorship ramifications.

Credit One Bank denounced Larson’s “highly offensive language” and said it supports the “quick actions” by NASCAR and Larson’s team. Chevrolet suspended its personal services relationship with Larson “as we do not tolerate this behaviour.”

McDonalds is another one of his primary sponsors.

“The words that he chose to use are offensive and unacceptable,” Chip Ganassi Racing said. “As of this moment,

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