The Newcastle United and England legend has called on people to let the current crop of stars make their own decision - with the right advice - over how best to help those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "Their options include taking a pay cut, deferring their wages or gifting their money - but they probably don't know which option will have the most impact in the way they want, whether that be looking after the staff at their own clubs, helping to fund the NHS or making donations to charities.
"It is an incredibly complicated situation, so I think it is only right that top-flight players get advice and take their time to decide what happens next."
The 'Match of the Day' pundit - who pointed out not all players are on the same level as the top earners in the sport - insisted many stars like Marcus Rashford and David de Gea are already doing their bit.
Acknowledging fair criticism aimed at some clubs, he added: "The game is an easy target because of the amount of money involved in it but so much great work is done by players, managers and clubs in their local communities and beyond, which often goes unseen.
"So it is a shame to see some Premier League clubs furloughing staff, when it seems avoidable.
"The scheme was not brought in to help companies who have made millions of pounds in the past few years.
"It was meant for smaller businesses who could go bust, and whose staff might not have a job to go back to otherwise."