London (AFP) – Premier League clubs will ask players to take a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of their annual salary due to the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the league said in a statement on Friday.
The English top flight’s highly-paid stars have come under increasing pressure to take pay cuts from government officials in recent days after four clubs said they would use public money to subsidise pay for non-playing staff.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday footballers should “take a pay cut and play their part.”
Tottenham, Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth plan to use the UK government’s furlough scheme to pay 80 percent of wages of non-playing staff up to a maximum of £2,500 ($3,100) a month.
The average salary for a Premier League player £3 million a year, according to the latest Global Sports Salaries survey.
“Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to consult their players regarding a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 per cent of total annual remuneration,” the Premier League said in a statement.
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) will meet with league and club officials to discuss the proposal on Saturday.
A meeting between the league’s 20 clubs also agreed to indefinitely extend the suspension of the season until it is “safe and appropriate” for football to return.
The clubs are desperate for the season to be finished if possible to avoid the potential of having to reimburse broadcasters a reported £760 million ($942 million) if they fail to fulfil fixtures for television contracts.
– Furlough controversy –
However, despite reports of creative ways to finish the campaign with matches behind closed doors and players quarantined in World Cup style training camps, the clubs insist they will follow government advice on when it is safe for matches to return.
“There is a combined objective for all remaining domestic league and cup matches to be played, enabling us to maintain the integrity of each competition,” the statement added.
“However, any return to play will only be with the full support of Government and when medical guidance allows.”
Despite their own financial troubles, Premier League clubs agreed to provide a £125 million fund for the English Football League and National League to help those further down the football pyramid.
A £20 million charitable donation will also be provided to help those affected by coronavirus.
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has reportedly led a meeting of Premier League captains to arrange an extra charity fighting fund for the National Health Service (NHS) made up of player donations on top of any wage cuts or deferrals agreed with the PFA.
The PFA believes players should not be used as scapegoats for clubs who have chosen to furlough non-playing staff despite having the means to continue paying them 100 percent of their salary.
Tottenham’s decision to furlough 550 staff on Tuesday came on the same day it was revealed chairman Daniel Levy was paid £7 million last season.
“We are aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff’s salaries. However, our current position is that -– as businesses — if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should,” the PFA said in a statement.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Southampton has early red flags in this Premier League campaign
- Sarr both Watford’s hero and villain in West Brom draw
- Everton sign England’s Coady on season-long loan from Wolves
- Dortmund complete Modeste signing from Cologne
- Darkhorse Denmark brings recent triumphs to World Cup 2022
- Former Man Utd star Giggs accused of ‘litany of abuse’ at assault trial
- Holders Wydad Casablanca among 58 CAF Champions League hopefuls
- 2022/23 LaLiga prediction: What will the final table look like?
- African players in Europe: Salah, Mane score as season starts
- Three talking points from the Premier League’s opening weekend