Premier League clubs not daring to ask stars to accept wage cuts, as they could then leave on FREE transfers due to breach of contract
- Premier League clubs are refraining from slashing the wages of star players
- The coronavirus shutdown of football is damaging a number of clubs financially
- However, clubs fear that reducing players’ wages will lead to legal claims
- A breach of contract claim could lead to players leaving their clubs for free
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Premier League clubs are holding back from asking first-team players to accept wage cuts or deferrals for fear of sparking a transfer frenzy by breaching their contracts.
A number of clubs are seeking to impose temporary limits on salaries during the coronavirus shutdown, but favour a co-ordinated approach to reduce the risk of players triggering legal claims for unpaid wages that would enable them to leave on free transfers.
Tottenham followed Newcastle’s example on Tuesday by announcing that all of the club’s 550 non-playing staff will take a 20 per cent pay-cut from this month. Some have been placed on the furlough scheme that enables them to claim 80 per cent of salaries up to £30,000 back from the Government, but stopped short of applying it to first-team or academy players.
Premier League clubs are holding back from slashing players’ wages over fears of a revolt
The coronavirus lockdown on football has had huge financial implications on a host of clubs
The Premier League will talk with the Football League, the Professional Footballers’ Association and League Managers’ Association on Wednesday over reaching a collective wage deferral agreement, although the huge range in the size of businesses may mean that a uniform approach is difficult to implement.
Top-flight players are understood to be open to accepting deferrals, but wait for guidance from the PFA.
Unlike many in lower divisions, Premier League clubs will not struggle to pay wages this month. But a number have concerns about their long-term commitments if the suspension extends into the summer — hence their decision to make savings from their non-playing budgets.
Some clubs are considering reducing player wages to ease the financial burden
However, doing so may lead to a breach of contract and players could leave on a free
If they attempt to impose similar deferrals on players it is feared many would object and seek to leave on free transfers, which could spark chaos.
Players in the lower leagues have fewer options, so several clubs have taken the decision to impose deferrals before a centrally co-ordinated scheme has been agreed.
Tottenham’s announcement came on the day they published annual accounts which show that Daniel Levy is the Premier League’s highest-paid club executive. He was paid £7million last season, including a £3m bonus for the completion of their new stadium. The chairman is among those taking a pay cut and was candid about the virus’s impact.
The Premier League will meet the Football League and PFA to thrash out a course of action
On Tuesday, Spurs announced it had asked all non-playing staff to take a 20 per cent pay cut
‘When I read or hear stories about player transfers this summer like nothing has happened, people need to wake up to the enormity of what is happening around us,’ Levy said in a statement.
‘We may be the eighth-largest club in the world by revenue, but all that historical data is totally irrelevant as this virus has no boundaries.
‘The club’s operations have effectively ceased, some of our fans will have lost their jobs and most will be worried about their future. We hope the current discussions between the Premier League, PFA and LMA will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football ecosystem.’