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FA chairman Greg Clarke warns "clubs and leagues" could collapse

:Headline: FA chairman Greg Clarke warns 'clubs and leagues' could collapse: ID:395727: from db_amp
Talks are ongoing over Premier League players taking wage deferrals and cuts.

Everyone must "step up and share the pain" inflicted on football by the coronavirus pandemic, Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has said.

Clarke's comments come as talks continue between Premier League and English Football League clubs and the players' union the Professional Footballers' Association over player wage deferrals and cuts.

The FA announced on Monday that its top earners were taking a 30 per cent pay cut, with other members of senior management taking a 15 per cent cut.

Clarke told the FA Council on Tuesday: "Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it.

"The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all business sectors will suffer.

"We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.

"In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive."

Premier League clubs agreed last Friday that it would consult with players over conditional reductions and deferrals up to 30 per cent to offset the potential and actual losses caused by the pandemic.

The EFL is also negotiating with the PFA for what is understood to be an even higher percentage of deferral. The PFA wants each club's need to make the savings to be assessed on an individual basis.

Two EFL clubs – Sunderland and Crewe – announced on Tuesday that they were furloughing playing staff. Businesses can place employees whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic on furlough leave, and claim 80 per cent of their salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 a month via the Government's coronavirus job retention scheme.

Sunderland said in a statement they had "no intention" of asking players or coaching staff to defer wages or accept a cut, and were committed to ensuring all staff were paid in full by topping up salaries.

Liverpool and Tottenham, the Premier League's two most profitable clubs in 2018-19, attracted widespread criticism for their furloughing of non-playing staff, though Liverpool have since performed a U-turn.

Simon Jordan says Premier League clubs are using furloughing as a negotiating tactic (Steven Paston/PA)

Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan insists their actions were in order to force the hand of the players, who "need to shift their backsides".

"The basic principle behind this is the two most profitable football clubs in English football, Tottenham and Liverpool, are the two clubs who have gone out and made a stance," Jordan told talkSPORT.

"I don't understand why Liverpool fans are not more angry with their players not coming to the fore and taking a pay cut.

"The leverage which was being bought by this furlough, Liverpool don't need £400,000 of savings from furlough, what Liverpool and Tottenham did it for is because they want to leverage the players because the players are not doing what they should be doing, despite the assertions of people, they have done nothing in four weeks."

But PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor says Premier League players have "agreed to play their part" in helping clubs manage the financial fallout.

The worst financial hit would come if the 2019-20 season cannot be completed, because broadcasters would look to be reimbursed for rights to matches that did not go ahead.

Clarke said everyone in the English professional game remained committed to doing that, but admitted it may not be possible.

"We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners on merit," he added.

"However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the Government directs as the pandemic unfolds."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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