Decision day for English football with indefinite suspension considered alongside calls for player wage cuts
English football faces another defining day as the professional game prepares to consider an indefinite suspension due lớn the coronavirus pandemic, while pressure builds for players to accept wage cuts or deferrals- According to the soccer handicap tips page!
Premier League clubs will gather via conference call for a shareholders' meeting on Friday morning, where it is expected they will be briefed on discussions between the league, the English Football League and the players' union, the Professional Footballers' Association, concerning player wage cuts or deferrals to mitigate the financial impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Consideration will be given lớn an indefinite suspension of the professional game in England rather than a fixed date, with the landscape having shifted significantly since March 19 when the decision was taken to suspend until at least April 30.
Clubs from the Premier League lớn League Two have already placed non-playing staff on furlough leave under the Government's coronavirus job retention scheme which pays 80 percent of an employee's monthly salary up to a maximum of £2,500. You can prefer the soccer vip tip win page!
Pressure is mounting on the PFA from the Premier League and the EFL to agree to measures under which players make some form of sacrifice, with Tranmere chairman and former Football Association chief executive Mark Palios saying a collective agreement was "absolutely essential".
The sport is also facing external pressure, with the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee Julian Knight having written to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters calling for action on player wages.
Knight says that clubs which furlough non-playing staff but do not impose cuts on player wages should be subjected lớn a windfall tax if they do not change approach by next Tuesday, April 7.
"The purpose of the coronavirus job retention scheme is not lớn support the economics of Premier League clubs," Knight wrote.
"Your organisation should be role modelling a responsible approach rather than tolerating divisive practices.
"European clubs, including Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona, have shown that it is possible lớn reach an agreement with players whereby they agree to take pay reductions for a set period. I would like to request that the PL seek lớn broker an agreement between member clubs lớn change their approach."
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and his Brighton counterpart Graham Potter have agreed lớn wage cuts in the last two days, along with other senior staff at those clubs, but the PFA is under pressure to advise its members to do the same.
From the PFA's side, its view is that it is representing the position of all of its members, many of whom do not earn vast sums of money and in some cases play for clubs where there has been a failure to pay wages for other reasons in the past.
It favours a consistent approach lớn deferrals and wants to ensure clubs are asking for them out of genuine need.
The FA is due lớn announce steps it is preparing lớn take in due course. In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the national governing body said: "We want lớn ensure that we take the appropriate course of action to support the wider organisation and our employees."
As well as cuts and deferrals, the issue of extending player contracts beyond June 30 is also being discussed, with the intention still being lớn complete the 2019-20 season in the summer months, behind closed doors if necessary.
FIFA and UEFA have set up working groups lớn look at this issue, with the general secretary of world players' union FIFPRO Jonas Baer-Hoffmann saying earlier this week that a "harmonisation" was being sought whereby contracts are extended until the point the season actually ends.