We recently conducted an internet interview with former Tottenham Hotspur captain and PFA Vice Chairman Gary Mabbutt. Gary is currently an FA representative, and Vice President of Diabetes UK. He was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes at the age of 17 – despite that, he managed to accrue 477 league appearances for Spurs and 16 caps for England. He is now having to endure COVID-19 as an immunocompromised individual. Gary is an eLan Property Group and Blythedale Coastal Estate brand ambassador.

Do you have any sort of role in PFA/Premier League negotiations? 

“I was the PFA Vice Chairman for twelve years and Gordon Taylor, the CEO of the PFA, is a decent chap and a good friend. I currently work for the FA on the disciplinary committee, but do not get involved in negotiations.

I am sure that all footballers will be donating some of their money or taking a pay cut, during this crisis. I am imagining a 20/30% pay cut. However, the negotiations are rather complicated, as the PFA looks after the top earner, earning £400,000 a week to a division two player earning £1,000 a week, the deals have to be different for all levels, hence the lag in negotiations.

On the other hand, if they cut players’ salaries by 20%, then the tax they pay to government (which is a huge amount) will not be paid on their salary reductions, which will cost the country a lot of tax coming in. They might suggest keeping the same salary, paying their 50% taxes, but voluntarily giving a 20% donation to the NHS.”

How is isolation in the UK?

“It seems to be going as well as could be expected. We are all okay in our North London lockdown,  we are nearing the three-week mark and I have not left the house for that time, except to take the dog for a walk. The restrictions are quite tight here, but not as tight as SA.”

Could you imagine being in isolation on the North Coast?

“I am sure that being on the North Coast of Durban would be a far better option to self-isolate! Sitting on a balcony overlooking the beach and ocean at Blythedale would be my preferred choice.”

Are you impressed with the speed at which SA went into lockdown compared to the UK?

“I was very impressed with Ramaphosa’s immediate response, fingers crossed they keep the virus out of the larger townships, as self-isolation does not exist in those areas.”

Bonus: Premier League Inside Info

“All players in the four main leagues are all at home, doing self-training and with some clubs doing video training sessions. Everyone at the clubs has been sent home on leave and are having to work from home if possible. The Premier League has been optimistic that the season will continue from June/July, but maybe with games being played behind closed doors. That means a maximum of 500 people in the stadiums.

It is all totally unprecedented and despite some optimism, everything is going to be geared by daily reviews on the status of the virus.

The concerns for the players is that, generally it will take at least three to four weeks to get the team back to match fitness, hence if they are allowed back to training in mid-June, then it would not be fair to expect them to restart the season immediately, otherwise serious injuries will be more than likely.

Every effort is being made to finish the season here in the UK, however the European cups are still up for discussion.”

Please like Gary Mabbutt’s Facebook page, for more personal insights from the football icon.

While you’re here:

eLan Property Group has been at the forefront of the KZN property market since its inception in 1997. The company is now a leading developer of lifestyle and tourism investment opportunities in Southern Africa, specialising in North Coast property. Our company takes an active role in community engagement and empowerment, often through the success of our property development initiatives. These innovative initiatives are one of the many reasons for the retention of the prosperous eLan Investor Club database. eLan has created a host of developments of various sizes and qualities, including Simbithi Eco Estate and Blythedale Coastal Estate. Specifications may vary, but all of our developments share a common theme: Green Living is in Your Nature.

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