Author: AFP

Premier League stars warn of £200 million shortfall in virus wage cut row

London (AFP) – The Professional Footballers’ Association warned on Saturday of a £200 million ($245 million) shortfall for British government coffers if a sweeping cut in wages was introduced for Premier League players to offset the financial fall-out from the coronavirus. Clubs and players’ representatives discussed a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of annual salary. However, no immediate agreement was reached. “All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times,” said a PFA statement. “We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier ... Read more

Liverpool under fire over coronavirus furlough move

London (AFP) – Ex-players blasted Liverpool for their move to furlough non-playing staff on Saturday as Premier League clubs held talks over possible pay cuts for first-team staff due to the coronavirus crisis. The Anfield club said they would top up the public money made available from the government to ensure staff received their full salaries. It follows similar moves by Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich to take advantage of the scheme, under which employers can claim for 80 percent of furloughed employees’ wages. But former Liverpool players Jamie Carragher and Stan Collymore strongly criticised the move by the European ... Read more

Liverpool furlough move draws stinging criticism from ex-players

London (AFP) – Liverpool on Saturday became the latest Premier League club to put some of their non-playing staff on furlough during the coronavirus shutdown, drawing fierce criticism from former players. The Premier League leaders, who in February announced pre-tax profits of £42 million ($51 million) for 2018/19, will top up the public money received from the government to ensure the affected staff receive their full salaries. The announcement came as Premier League clubs met with representatives of players and managers to discuss possible wage cuts for first-team staff. Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich have also said they would furlough ... Read more

Rose ‘happy to take wage cut’ as Premier League meets players

London (AFP) – Newcastle’s Danny Rose says he would be prepared to give up some of his salary due to the coronavirus crisis but believes players have been unfairly targeted in the festering Premier League wage-cut row. Clubs were due to speak with players’ representatives on Saturday over a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of annual salary. It came as Liverpool became the latest club to furlough non-playing staff and Burnley warned they would face a shortfall of up to £50 million ($61 million) if it was not possible to complete the season. Premier League ... Read more

Xavi donates 1 mn euros to Barcelona hospital

Madrid (AFP) – Former Barcelona and Spain star Xavi Hernandez and his wife have donated one million euros ($1.08 million) to the city’s Hospital Clinic to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “Xavi Hernandez and Nuria Cunillera have made a donation of one million euros to the clinic to face up to COVID-19. Thanks a lot for your help and support… All together, we will get there,” the hospital tweeted on Saturday. “Nuria and I, we support the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona’s fight against the coronavirus. Thanks to the donations they are receiving, the hospital has acquired equipment for ... Read more

Liverpool put some non-playing staff on furlough

London (AFP) – Liverpool on Saturday became the latest Premier League club to put some of their non-playing staff on furlough during the coronavirus shutdown. The Premier League said on Friday that the 2019/20 season would only return when it was “safe and appropriate to do so”. Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich have also said they would furlough non-playing staff. A statement from the Premier League leaders said staff would be paid 100 percent of their salaries to ensure nobody was financially disadvantaged. The Liverpool statement added: “Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior ... Read more

Belgian federation in UEFA talks over end to its season

Brussels (AFP) – The Belgian Football Association (URBSFA) announced on Saturday that it is working with UEFA toward a “constructive” solution regarding the premature end to the Belgian championship. On Thursday, the Belgian Pro League recommended that the season be declared finished due to the coronavirus pandemic with the present table accepted as final. It became the first European league to propose such a measure, though others could follow. On Friday, the governing body of European football (UEFA), in a joint statement with the European Club Association and the European Leagues, warned that “abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, ... Read more

Premier League players’ ‘backs against wall’ over coronavirus, says Rose

London (AFP) – Newcastle defender Danny Rose is willing to contribute a portion of his wages to those fighting the coronavirus outbreak but says Premier League players feel their “backs are against the wall”. Top-flight stars have come under increasing pressure to take pay cuts from government officials after a number of clubs said they would use public money to subsidise pay for non-playing staff. The Premier League said on Friday that clubs would consult players over a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of their annual salary. They agreed to provide a £125 million ($153 ... Read more