Chairman of the Football Association (FA), Greg Clarke, claims that English football faces “the risk of losing clubs and leagues” in the face of economic problems “beyond the wildest imagination.”
The season has been indefinitely halted amid the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus. Some clubs have put non-playing staff on temporary leave, as negotiations continue about players ‘salaries.
“Many communities with little hope of revival could lose the clubs at their heart,” Clarke said.
Speaking at a meeting of the FA Council, he said: “Faced with this unparalleled hardship, all stakeholders including players, supporters, clubs, owners and administrators inside the game need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive.
“It’s time for stakeholders to decide on common ground to save our game. Contribute. Football is a team game and now it’s time for teamwork.” The Premier League suggested a 30 per cent pay cut for players, but the Professional Footballers ‘Association said it would hurt the NHS.
Top-flight players are set to start negotiations on a club-by-club basis over proposed wage cuts after talks broke down without resolution over the weekend.
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Players left in ‘no-win scenario’ over ‘disgraceful’ pay row-Rooney With no games being played, Football League clubs struggle with cash flow problems without ticket sales, as well as match day and merchandise income.
England’s men’s manager Gareth Southgate and women’s boss Phil Neville on Monday said they would take a pay cut of 30 percent.
The financial cost of postponements, including England fixtures, FA Cup matches and Wembley activities could be as high as £ 150 m, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said.
Clarke said: “We are committed to finishing the professional football season because this addresses issues of promotion and relegation along with championship winners on merit.” But, we may not be able to finish the season because football is not our priority-human life is-and we will do as the government directs as the pandemic unfolds.
“Our leagues have demanded that the season be curtailed lower down the football ladder, and that decision remains with the FA council.
“The economic consequences of the pandemic will follow and all industry sectors will fail.” We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as economies crash.