The Professional Footballers’ Association is set to go head-to-head with several Championship clubs, who are asking their players to take up to a 50% wage cut over the upcoming months.
Football has been brought to a shuddering halt at all levels amid fears over the growing number of cases of the coronavirus, and with plenty of fixtures left to play, clubs are panicking over the problems which may subsequently arise in the near future.
And some Championship sides have already started taking action. Birmingham City have asked their players who earn more than £6,000 a week to accept a 50% reduction to their wages above that amount for the next four months, with the lost salary to be repaid in future instalments, according to the Daily Mail.
The Midlands club’s aim is to maintain a healthy cash flow, knowing that they may be forced to do without the usual revenue that comes from gate receipts, sponsorship deals and television income.
Birmingham also fear that they may be forced to pay back the money they’ve been handed for TV rights for the season, leaving them in a precarious financial position. The club have not insisted they their stars must take the deferral, and they would risk losing several of their squad members on free transfers if they were to do so.
But the PFA is not impressed with the Blues’ actions, and they’ve advised players that they could sue them for loss of earnings, and the leave the club citing a breach of contract, which all teams will be desperate to avoid.
Plenty of Championship sides are unsure how to approach this situation, knowing that they may need to keep their players onside, should the season be extended beyond 30 June. If that was the case, then the clubs would have to ask their players, whose contracts had expired by that point, to sign a short-term extension in order to finish the campaign.
Several clubs have mulled over the possibility of enforcing mandatory cuts to players’ wages, but the majority are hoping to persuade their stars to accept these terms amicably.