Pay-cut saga could last months with PL clubs accused of panicking too early

The Premier League pay row could drag on for months.

That is the fear as the Professional Footballers’ Association do not expect clubs to push ahead with definite plans to make deferrals or cuts until June or even July.

There is a genuine frustration that the clubs have pushed the panic button early, not even four weeks into the coronavirus crisis, while many of them have billionaire owners and made big profits.

It comes after the PFA had further talks on Monday to assess the fallout from last weekend after the Premier League held talks and thrashed out a collective agreement between the clubs for a maximum 30 per cent in deferrals and potentially cuts.

That is broken down by a ten per cent deferral if games start up again behind closed doors plus another 20 per cent if they are not played at all to try and compensate for the loss of TV revenue, gate receipts and sponsorship.

Mirror Sport reported on Sunday that the 20 captains have set up their own WhatsApp group and are determined to stand firm and now it is up to the clubs to present their own individual plans to the players.

Some have done that already, one club was proposing 35 per cent and has now dropped it down to 30 per cent, another has come in much less while one club has offered a two week cooling off period.

But what is coming through loud and clear, is that it will be a long, drawn out process and no quick solution is in sight – and could yet get even uglier.

The Premier League insists clubs stand to lose £1.14billion in lost TV revenue, sponsorship and gate receipts but the players also want to see when games might resume with June still being talked about even if that seems highly unlikely in practical terms.

Talks will now go on between the players and their respective clubs with a further Premier League meeting expected next Friday, April 17.

At the heart of the dispute is the players insisting they will happily give up some of their pay – but it is their pay and they want to give it to who they want and not straight back to wealthy owners.

There is a feeling that some clubs simply do not need the money and have definitely gone too quickly on it.

Meanwhile, the PFA are acutely aware that EFL clubs, particularly in League One and Two, are struggling and have been pushing the Premier League to do more and are trying to help themselves.

Their need is far more pressing with PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor aware that unless some EFL clubs get urgent help – then they could go under very quickly.

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