English Premier League stars are bracing for huge pay cuts as the devastating coronavirus pandemic continues to close down professional football.
It is understood that England’s top-flight clubs are seeking an across-the-board, collective agreement that will substantially ease their wage bills.
The Premiership has one of the highest broadcast revenues and generally most clubs are financially stable despite the lack of matchday income for the last couple of weeks.
There is, however, pressure for English clubs to follow their European counterparts in imposing player salary cuts or deferrals, with club chairmen and CEOs hopeful of agreeing on a plan with the players’ union as early as the end of this week.
Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, said he expects “players and coaches to [do] their bit for the football ecosystem”.
Levy announced that all Spurs’ non-playing employees, who make up a staff of more than 500, would see their salaries cut by 20 per cent this month. Spurs footballers are expected to follow suit and accept a pay cut.
In Europe, Barcelona players will, for the remainder of the shutdown, earn only 28 per cent of their basic salaries after agreeing on a pay cut. Bayern agreed a 20 per cent cut across their first-team squad and Juventus have settled on a plan with their players that will save the club an estimated 30 per cent of their wage bill.
Uefa, European football’s governing body, held a conference-call meeting with representatives of its 55 countries yesterday, and outlined possible schedules, prioritising the completion of domestic championships even if that means matches being played behind closed doors and beyond the end of June.
The football ecosystem, as Spurs’s Levy called it, does not bounce back easily from a period of unscheduled inactivity.