Premier League players have been told that clubs are set to lose £1.137 billion over the coronavirus crisis, as talks over wage cuts failed to reach an agreement.
A video conference call was held on Saturday afternoon where a presentation from the Premier League to captains and coaches, explained why clubs want their players to accept a reduction in their pay.
The extraordinary conference call finished with no resolution on wage cuts for players, though a PFA statement said they are happy to continue talks – though have concerns whether a 30 per cent salary deduction would be detrimental to the NHS.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling earns £300,000 per week while Anthony Martial – who plays for Manchester United – earns £250,000 per week
Given the complexities of getting more than 50 representatives on the same call, with each club allowed three representatives and most selecting their captain and coach to attend, it was unlikely anything would be finalised on Saturday.
The Premier League is understood to have presented the scenarios, the worst-case being that the league couldn’t restart, which would mean paying back £762m to broadcasters. A 30 per cent wage cut would cover most of that.
That went some way to answering the key question of players, which was that if they were to sacrifice wages, how would the money be spent.
With some clubs paying dividends, other awarding bonuses to executive staff and many planning expensive transfers when play resumes, there was scepticism prior to the meeting that all the cost needs to be borne by player wage cuts.
Other scenarios presented, such as a re-start in June, would require less of a sacrifice. But players, led by the efforts of Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire, Liverpool and Manchester United captains respectively, are already committed to curtailing wages to help the NHS.
Following the conference, the PFA released a statement saying a proposed £20m donation to the NHS would be welcome but ‘could be more’.