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PFA not budging on pay cuts - ask players to talk to them first

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has written to players to warn that it is "vitall...

PFA not budging on pay cuts -...

PFA not budging on pay cuts - ask players to talk to them first

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has written to players to warn that it is "vitally important" they speak to their union before accepting wage cuts.

The coronavirus pandemic has suspended the English football season indefinitely, leading to a number of sides putting non-playing staff on leave.

Four top flight clubs are relying on the British government to pay 80 per cent of workers' salaries.

However, no collective agreement has yet been found on reducing players' pay.

In Spain, both Atletico Madrid and Barcelona players have taken 70 per cent cuts for the duration of the crisis to protect jobs at their respective clubs.

In the Premier League, Brighton manager Graham Potter and his Bournemouth counterpart Eddie Howe - along with senior staff at both clubs - have agreed to pay cuts.

UK politicians have threatened Premier League sides with sanctions if they don't cut players' pay as they furlough lower-earning staff.

Such threats haven't been met with the warmest response from the footballing community.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told players to "play their part" on Thursday night and accept wage cuts.

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville said on Twitter that Hancock had "a fucking cheek" given his record with acquiring COVID-19 testing kits.

Talks had been ongoing between the PFA, Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and the League Managers' Association (LMA) about a collective wage deferral deal.

Those talks are yet to arrive at a resolution, but tonight the PFA are digging in their heels.

They say as long as clubs can afford to play their players and staff, then they should continue to do so.

In a statement, the PFA say, "We are aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff’s salaries.

"However, our current position is that – as businesses - if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should.

"The players we have spoken recognise that the non-playing staff are a vital part of their club and they do not want to see club staff furloughed unfairly.

"Any use of the government’s support schemes without genuine financial need is detrimental to the wider society.

"In instances where clubs have the resources to pay all staff, the benefit of players paying non-playing staff salaries will only serve the business of the club’s shareholders.

"We understand the severity of the situation and the challenges that clubs from all divisions face. We have requested, via the leagues, that clubs provide us with information about their financial position, so that we can make informed decisions for the future – both immediate and long-term."

The statement adds, "We fully accept that players will have to be flexible and share the financial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to secure the long-term future of their own club and indeed the wider game.

"Our advice going out to players at this point reflects that expectation.

"In addition, the PFA is also expecting to contribute financially to any solutions agreed upon."

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Matt Hancock PFA Pay Cuts Premier League Wage Deferral