The Professional Footballers’ Association has said that players will have to share the ‘financial burden’ of the coronavirus pandemic.
The union confirmed in a statement on Thursday evening that top-flight stars will need to be ‘flexible’ to ‘secure the long-term future of their own club and indeed the wider game.’
The union added its advice ‘going out to players at this point reflects that expectation.’
The PFA added: “Like everyone else in the country, we are trying to deal with a situation that has never been faced.
“Our spirits have been lifted seeing communities come together to support each other.
“We have been proud to see many of our own members and clubs step up to support the NHS, to help children who would usually benefit from free school meals, donating to food banks and other charitable donations to those affected by this crisis.
“Much of this has been done privately and without publicity.”
In underlining that news should soon follow, the statement added: “We are hoping to reach an agreement with the Premier League and EFL that secures the long-term future of the clubs and protects players.
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“As an industry, we are in discussions with clubs and players to identify the support we can give to our country during this difficult time.”
The PFA said it had called for an “urgent meeting” with the Premier League and EFL which took place on March 27, where its primary aim of ensuring wages for EFL players were protected for March was agreed.
It went on to say that “a timetable was established to collectively use early April, to reach considered decisions and solutions, with a view for any potential changes and reductions to salaries coming into effect on April’s payroll. Talks on this basis are ongoing.”
The union added that it believes if a club can pay non-playing staff out of their own money, they should, despite being “aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff’s salaries.”
There is an appetite to help, though, with the PFA saying: “The players we have spoken to 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.”