London, 3 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) – The Premier League has announced it will not resume play by the start of May and will only return with “the full support of Government and when medical guidance allows,” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
England’s top division has also asked its 20 clubs to consult their players about a 30-per-cent wage cut. Representatives will meet with the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) players’ union on Saturday to decide on this matter.
All football in Britain was provisionally suspended until April 30 because of the outbreak but after a meeting with shareholders, the league said its position on a restart date is “under constant review.”
A statement read: “The 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The Premier League is working closely with the whole of professional football in this country, as well as with the government, public agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution.”
In addition, the Premier League has said it will contribute 20 million pounds (24.5 million dollars) to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) to help combat the crisis.
“The League, clubs, players and managers express huge appreciation for the heroic efforts of NHS staff and all other key workers who are carrying out critical jobs in such difficult circumstances,” the statement continued.
“This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis.”
The Premier League will also donate a total of 125 million pounds to clubs in the lower divisions of the English Football League to help preserve the future of the English game.
This was voted for unanimously as the Premier League said it is “aware of the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramid are suffering at this time.”
Premier League clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle, Norwich and Bournmeouth have been forced to put their non-playing staff on the British government’s furlough scheme in recent weeks.
This scheme allows workers to claim up to 80 per cent of their total wages, or up to 2,500 pounds per month.
Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe and Brighton’s Graham Potter were the first top-flight managers to take a voluntary slice in pay.
However, any wage cuts of players who earn over 100,000 pounds per week had not been discussed.
On Thursday, British health secretary Matt Hancock urged players to “play their part and take a cut.”
In response, the Premier League’s idea of a 30-per-cent wage cut was “unanimously agreed to protect employment throughout the professional game.”
The statement added: “This guidance will be kept under constant review as circumstances change. The League will be in regular contact with the PFA, and the union will join a meeting which will be held tomorrow.”