FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Premier League – Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion – Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain – February 22, 2020 General view of the Premier League logo before the match REUTERS/Andrew Yates
(Reuters) – The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has called for urgent talks with the Premier League and English Football League to discuss the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
With English football suspended until at least April 30, the loss of matchday revenue has hit the clubs hard, especially in the lower leagues.
On Tuesday, Birmingham became the first Championship side to ask their players to take wage deferrals, while League Two’s Forest Green Rovers said they will use the government’s wage-support scheme to keep paying all their staff.
“As with other industries, the current COVID-19 crisis is having a severe impact on the finances of the game,” the PFA said in a statement here
“Several clubs have already approached players with a view to imposing pay deferrals.
“In order to deal with this situation, we have called for an urgent meeting with both the Premier League and the EFL to discuss how we might proceed going forward.”
Earlier this month, the EFL announced it would release a 50 million pounds ($59.15 million) short-term relief fund to assist clubs whose survival is under threat.
The PFA also said it had worked closely with the Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League on training protocols to minimize the risk posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford