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PFA explains position as players urged to take pay cuts

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The Professional Footballers Association is explaining why it has not yet accepted deferred pay cuts during the coronavirus suspension, and the English government is not withholding its opinion.

As non-playing staff accept furloughs or worse across the tiers of English football and players in other European nations accept pay cuts, the PFA has not found an arrangement to its liking.

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Health secretary Matthew Hancock addressed the situation in his daily public briefing.

From Sky Sports:

“Given the sacrifices people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice and gone into work and caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution; take a pay cut and play their part.”

That’s a heavy statement, one that surely resonates with all.

The PFA issued a post on its site that runs up nearly 1000 words on its position, stating that a big part of its concern is representing League One and League Two players. Those members do not receive the massive pay packets of PL stars.

Basically, what the PFA is requesting is time to make an educated decision considering the books and futures of every club are different. They’d like to see those books to make sure that if players are making a sacrifice that shareholders are as well.

From ThePFA.com:

We fully accept that players will have to be flexible and share the financial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to secure the long-term future of their own club and indeed the wider game. Our advice going out to players at this point reflects that expectation.

In addition, the PFA is also expecting to contribute financially to any solutions agreed upon.

Like everyone else in the country, we are trying to deal with a situation that has never been faced. Our spirits have been lifted seeing communities come together to support each other. We have been proud to see many of our own members and clubs step up to support the NHS, to help children who would usually benefit from free school meals, donating to food banks and other charitable donations to those affected by this crisis. Much of this has been done privately and without publicity.

Obviously there will be a resolution to this soon, but it’s a complex and layered situation. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe became the first PL boss to take a voluntary pay cut on Wednesday, with Brighton’s Graham Potter following suit.

Bury expelled from Football League; Bolton has 14 days

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This is a monumentally sad day for football.

Bury FC is no longer a member of the Football League, expelled from the league.

One of Bury’s historic rivals, Bolton Wanderers, have only 14 days to avoid that fate.

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For the first time since 1888-89, a season of English football will not include two-time FA Cup winners Bury, the only silver lining that the club was expelled on the heels of a thrilling promotion season.

A late takeover bid collapsed and Bury is now the first club to be expelled from the Football League since 1992. They are the only club to score at least 1,000 goals in each of the top four tiers of England.

As for Bolton, the Wanderers have 14 days to complete a takeover or it, too, will suffer the same fate. Here is the club’s statement, and the hopeful tone overlooks a dire likely pathway.

We note the statement from the EFL lifting the notice of withdrawal of suspension and giving 14 days to find a solution and complete a deal for the sale of the club.

All parties have been in continuous dialogue throughout the day and are working closely together this evening in order to bring a deal to completion. We will continue to  work through the night if necessary.

There will be a further update as soon as possible.

Bolton on verge of league expulsion, liquidation

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A club that started the Football League in 1888 may be expelled from it.

Bolton Wanderers is the club of Nat Lofthouse and Roy Greaves, and more recently Jussi Jääskeläinen, Youri Djorkaeff, Gary Cahill, and Stu Holden, and it may have reached the end of line.

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Winners of four FA Cups but none since 1958 and combatants in a League Cup Final appearance as recently as 2004, Bolton Wanderers has been on a sad and steady decline for the better part of a decade.

And it may cease to be a club by Wednesday.

That’s a loaded statement, but Tuesday could see Bolton Wanderers kicked out of the Football League after failing to complete a sale of the financially troubled club. The league seems as exasperated as the desperate fan base, which saw a manager quit at midweek.

EFL executive chair Debbie Jevans said on Sunday: “What is really disappointing is that on Saturday morning, our understanding was that all the parties involved had signed off and the deal was going to be completed yesterday morning.

“Then something happened, a signature wasn’t provided and therefore it was postponed again. This is incredibly frustrating. It has been going on for months.”

There are, of course, options that can save the team in this testy 48 hours. But to reach this point shows that even if a solution is found, it may be the last opportunity for Bolton to keep itself alive. There are only so many lines in the sand.

Bolton plays Gillingham on Saturday, and is three weeks away from meeting another troubled, historic club in Bury FC.

Salford City promoted to the Football League

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Salford City’s dream has become a reality.

The team backed by Manchester United and Premier League legends David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, plus billionaire Peter Lim, won promotion to League Two on Saturday at Wembley Stadium.

Salford beat AFC Fylde 3-0 in the National League playoff final to clinch their first-ever promotion to the fourth-tier of English soccer. Head coach Graham Alexander took over last summer and was handed a huge budget to guide Salford to promotion.

Mani Dieseruvwe, Carl Piergianni and Ibou Touray scored the goals for Salford, as their incredible rise continues and the United legends celebrated in the stands at Wembley at the final whistle.

Backed by Lim’s money and the expertise and contacts of Neville and Co. behind-the-scenes, Salford have achieved four promotions in the last five seasons to secure their spot as one of the 92 Football League teams for the 2019-20 season.

Salford’s aim is to at least reach the Championship, the second-tier of English soccer, as the Lancashire club aim to become one of the best supported teams in the Manchester area as they offer something completely different to the giants of Man United and Man City nearby.

David Beckham joins Salford City ownership

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Money and influence go a long way, and Manchester United’s “Class of ’92” has a lot of it, so don’t be surprised that Salford City is on the rise.

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David Beckham has now bought into the English fifth-tier club, subject to FA approval, meaning the celebrated United class now has a stake in Salford City with the club fighting for its first promotion into the Football League.

“The Ammies” have been promoted three times since being taken over by Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, and Gary Neville. Beckham is the owner of Inter Miami CF, expected to debut in Major League Soccer in 2020.

The Class of ’92 released this statement:

“From the very beginning we wanted David to be involved and be with us on this incredible journey however circumstances and commitments didn’t allow that. Now the time is right and is another exciting time in Salford City’s history. 

“It is important to emphasize that nothing will change in the day to day operations of the club but to have us all together was always the vision. We grew up in Salford, carved our careers here and that’s why we are doing what we are doing at Salford City.”

Salford City is a point back of the National League leaders Leyton Orient. First place gets automatic promotion to League Two, while second through seventh take part in the promotion playoffs.

The club does employ a Rooney, Adam, but the Irish striker is not related to Wayne.