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PFA, EFL and Premier League Meeting Today
Friday, 27th Mar 2020 12:18

Talks are taking place today between the PFA and Premier League and EFL where the financial implications of the suspension of football due to the coronavirus crisis will be discussed.

The meeting is an extension of discussions which have been ongoing with cost-cutting measures on the agenda.

EFL and Premier League fixtures are currently suspended until April 30th with players due to return to training at the start of the month, although it’s expected an announcement will be made extending the hiatus for longer.

Clubs across the board are losing revenue - Town are missing out on income of around £100,000 per home game - and last week the EFL released a £50 million package to assist their clubs with sides in League One understood to have received £433,000 made up of an advance in Basic Award payments and interest-free loans.

Wage deferrals are set to come under discussion today with Championship Birmingham City having asked their players earning in excess of £6,000 to defer 50 per cent of their wages, while the Leeds squad, staff and senior management have voluntarily deferred their salaries to help their off-field staff.

Yesterday, Town manager Paul Lambert said he and his staff were willing to make a similar move.

Some clubs have already furloughed their off-field staff - but not Town as things stand - and discussing that approach with players will come into today’s talks.

That would see clubs able to claim 80 per cent of their players’ monthly earnings up to a maximum of £2,500. While virtually all players even at League One level earn considerably more than that, the saving would still be significant, particularly for lower division clubs.

In addition, the Premier League is concerned that it could face penalties from broadcasters should the current season not be completed.

Currently the clubs and authorities remain keen to play the 2019/20 campaign to its conclusion once football returns but with UEFA having set a June 30th deadline for all domestic seasons to be finished.

Outlining the aims of today’s discussions, Gordon Taylor, the PFA’s chief executive, said: “The meeting is to talk about all the issues, finances, contracts, returning to training.

“We are just trying to get some consistency. Welfare of the players is the priority. These are worrying times for players as well as clubs — and we know from before that some owners have not been the best at paying players on time.”

A PFA statement added: “As with other industries, the current Covid-19 crisis is having a severe impact on the finances of the game. Several clubs have already approached players with a view to imposing pay deferrals.

“In order to deal with this situation, we have called for an urgent meeting with both the Premier League and the EFL to discuss how we might proceed going forward.”

Photo: Action Images

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