Premier League and EFL clubs are said to be looking into the possibility of furloughing their squads to save money during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.
Football in the UK and across Europe has been plunged into chaos amid the global pandemic, with fixtures now having been missed for the last three weeks, with the game not due to restart until April 30th at the very earliest.
However, with cases still rising exponentially, and the expected peak thought to be weeks away, it is widely thought that the beautiful game will not be returning any time soon.
The lack of football is putting a number of clubs finances under increasing pressures, especially at the lower end of the game where gate revenues are vital sources of income, leaving clubs to look at every way possible to save money wherever possible.
According to the Evening Standard, clubs in all professional divisions of the English game, including the Premier League, are looking at the possibility to ‘furlough entire squads’, basically, placing players on unpaid leave.
The British government have made a commitment to pay 80 per cent of employee’s salaries in their ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme,’ though that is capped at a maximum of £2,500 a month, far lower than the average footballer in the top few divisions.
The likes of Millwall and MK Dons have already furloughed their non-playing staff, with the report saying it is hoped that the PFA can ‘facilitate a similar arrangement for players’.
However, there is said to be a fear that players could ‘use the situation to try force a free transfer’ in the summer, while the subject of wage deferrals and ‘temporary wage cuts’ is set to be ‘high on the agenda’ when the clubs next meet on April 3rd.