National League insist they want season to finish properly amid coronavirus chaos

Ross Houston
March 26, 2020

Top English Premier League players are expecting to be asked to defer some of their wages during the coronavirus crisis.

Many clubs in the minor regional leagues, which make up the bottom two divisions in the football pyramid, were already braced for this outcome, but it raises the spectre of a similar decision being made in the professional game.

While the professional game has been suspended due to the escalating Covid-19 situation, the FA has been going through consultation and scenario-planning with stakeholders across English football.

But the National League, which feeds clubs into the Football League, insisted that did not mean they want to call a halt to their season right now.

One leading agent told Mirror Sport: "The Premier League players will probably accept it as their club is no different in being affected by this but the worry among EFL players will be is if they defer then they may not see the money at all".

The second would be to decide all matters on how the tables stand now, which would mean Norwich, Bournemouth and Aston Villa being relegated from the Premier League and replaced by Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and third-placed Fulham.

On Wednesday, Birmingham City became the first Sky Bet Championship club to ask their players to take wage deferrals because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the EFL provided struggling clubs with a £50m relief package.

The PFA held emergency talks on Monday with the Premier League and EFL and are being "realistic" about finding a solution with deferrals and potential pay cuts all part of the discussion.

Players at Bayern Munich and other German clubs have reportedly agreed to take pay cuts.

In a statement, the Professional Footballers' Association, as quoted by said: "As with other industries, the current COVID-19 crisis is having a severe impact on the finances of the game".

"We are also in regular discussions at worldwide level regarding areas relating to contractual stability and the eventual resumption of the leagues".

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