According to a report by ESPN journalist Mark Ogden, the Premier League is readying a request to players to defer payments to help ease the financial burden on clubs during the coronavirus shutdown.
A similar report by The Telegraph journalist Jason Burt states that these payments could be as much as 50%, and states there is “growing pressure” on the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) to agree to these deferrals. Ogden’s report concludes the same, saying that while the PFA must agree to any blanket deferral, a refusal to agree to such while the entire nation and even the world suffers from layoffs and a struggling economy would have a massively negative impact on the sport’s public opinion.
Companies across all disciplines and walks of life have suffered great financial pressures during the rise of the coronavirus throughout the world, and football clubs are no different, with little revenue to support their regular debits. The Premier League has shut down through at least April 30 to curtail the spread of the virus, leaving clubs without both gate and television revenue. Should the league eventually resume play behind closed doors, that would continue to leave clubs without gate revenue even while TV payments start up again.
Borussia Dortmund announced yesterday that its players are taking a temporary pay cut, with CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke calling the move “a valuable sign of solidarity.” The move followed the lead of fellow German club Borussia Monchengladbach which announced the same last week.
A number of Premier League clubs have already announced they will continue to pay staff during the shutdown. While this is an easily viable option for most clubs in the short-term, according to Ogden, a great number of clubs – even the wealthiest in the league – would be significantly impacted financially if the shutdown lasts much longer than is already scheduled.