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While no unanimous agreement has been reached over salary deferrals, positive talks have taken place amid the devastation of the Covid-19 outbreak
The Premier League has released a statement confirming that the clubs in England’s top flight have unanimously agreed to consult with their players over a 30 per cent pay cut amid the coronavirus crisis.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock had previously called on footballers to “take a pay cut and play their part” in the fight against Covid-19, with Gary Neville among those in the game having been left angered at the criticism of the players without foundation.
As well as the talks over salary cuts, there has also been confirmation from the Premier League that a financial contribution will be made to the National Health Service, with £20 million ($24m) being pledged to “the NHS, its staff and helping people in communities, not least those who are most vulnerable”.
On the discussions with clubs over player wage deferrals, the statement read: “In the face of substantial and continuing losses for the 2019-20 season since the suspension of matches began, and to protect employment throughout the professional game, 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.
“This guidance will be kept under constant review as circumstances change.
“The League will be in regular contact with the PFA and the union will join a meeting which will be held tomorrow between the League, players and club representatives.”
Regarding the donation to the NHS, the statement continued: “Further to that assistance, the League remains committed to supporting the National Health Service, its staff and helping people in communities, not least those who are most vulnerable.
“The League, clubs, players and managers express huge appreciation for the heroic efforts of NHS staff and all other key workers who are carrying out critical jobs in such difficult circumstances.
“In consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Premier League is immediately committing £20 million to support the NHS, communities, families and vulnerable groups during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This includes a direct financial contribution to the NHS and funds to enable clubs to refocus their efforts and develop significant outreach programmes to help communities, including those most in need.
“This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis.”
There was also confirmation that the Premier League would be giving £125m ($153m) to the EFL and National League to support clubs in dire need of financial support at a time when income streams have been crippled.
The statement continued: “Discussions also took place regarding financial relief for clubs in the short term and while there is no single solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately deal with the impact of falling cash flow.
“Critically, the League unanimously voted to advance funds of £125m to the EFL and National League as it is aware of the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramid are suffering at this time.”
With football having been halted in England due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League also announced that there will be no resumption to the 2019-20 season at the start of May, as had previously been hoped.