THE EFL has proposed that all footballers in League One defer up to 25% of their earnings in April to combat the effect of coronavirus on clubs’ finances.
The idea was made in conjunction with the players’ union, PFA, and would apply to all clubs in Leagues One and Two; Championship clubs are expected to make their own individual decisions on the plan.
There would, however, be a minimum level of earnings, with those on less than £2,500 a month still receiving full pay.
The EFL hope that football can resume at some point in the summer, with a 56-day window to complete the season, including the play-offs. Any resumption of the football season, however, is currently on the basis that matches will be played behind closed doors.
The EFL and PFA also said the two bodies will “form a working group of six club captains/PFA delegates from the third and fourth tiers, supported by a representative nominated by the PFA, to engage in dialogue in respect of players’ wages”. It also made it clear the 25% proposal was a “recommendation and not a directive, as there are clubs who have stated no requirement to take immediate action at this time”.
The statement read: “In establishing the new group, the EFL and PFA acknowledge the common problems faced by the League and member clubs, and the need for all parties to be part of a solution.
“Dialogue with the working group will enable the League both to listen to the concerns of players and to explain the extent of the financial challenges.
“It will focus not just on the short term (May and June) but will address the medium-term position from the start of July onwards and into next season.”
The financial implications of coronavirus on football have yet to fully play out, but former FA chief executive Mark Palios fears the number of clubs that could become insolvent because of it may reach “double figures”.
“It (25% proposal) will probably assist with the April wages, but I still think that certain clubs will be unable to meet the wages in April, and then more (clubs) in May,” said Palios, chairman of League One side Tranmere Rovers.
“I think a certain number of clubs, on the basis of they can't pay contractual wages, will move down the path to a formal insolvency, but that may take some time. I think it’ll probably be into double figures.”