In news just coming through, the EFL and PFA have issued a joint statement over issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing effects. It has been over a month since the growing seriousness of the global pandemic closed down not only sport and football but also changed the way people live their lives.
No-one knows when the lockdown, imposed to avoid mass gatherings and rapid spreading of the virus, will end. Football is on an indefinite pause and already the Euro 20 championships have been moved until next year. Even the Olympics have been postponed.
Without the turnstiles moving, without people attending games, football clubs have had their main revenue streams cut off and are having to look at taking quite drastic measures to stay afloat. It is unprecedented times and that has been reflected in the decision-making being taken.
Key points from the PFA/EFL statement:
- “As a result of these discussions, it has been agreed that the EFL and PFA will form a working group of six Club captains/PFA delegates from League One and Two, supported by a representative nominated by the PFA, to engage in dialogue in respect of players’ wages. While the working group will not be a formal negotiating body, it will help to ensure that players are fully informed as they continue to hold discussions with individual Clubs.”
- “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…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.”
- “In order to deal with the most immediate payroll issue, the EFL is recommending to Clubs that local discussions are held with players in respect of the month of April only. A compromise proposal has been agreed between the EFL and the PFA for those Clubs engaged in deferral negotiations with their players, meaning that, up to a maximum of 25% of players’ wages for April may be conditionally deferred within the following limits: players earning less than £2,500 per month will be paid in full; the 25% reduction must not take any player below £2,500 per month.”