A RESCUE plan could be drawn up today to help football cope with the fall-out from the coronavirus crisis.
Crunch talks, initiated by the Professional Footballers’ Association, are being held with the Premier League and English Football League to discuss the financial impact of the virus, with top-flight support for cash-strapped clubs who fear going out of business top of the agenda.
The Football Association and the government are also understood to have been involved in initial talks regarding support for the lower leagues. Germany’s four Champions League representatives — Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen — have already created an £18million solidarity fund to help other clubs in the Bundesliga’s top two divisions stave off a financial crisis.
However, even some Premier League teams are reportedly being forced into cost-cutting measures due to a fall in revenue while fears linger they could face a huge bill from unfulfilled broadcasting agreements should this season not be completed.
The effects are already being felt outside the top tier. Leeds, the Championship leaders, yesterday confirmed players, management and senior staff have volunteered to defer some of their wages for the foreseeable future so all non-football staff can be paid.
‘My players have demonstrated an incredible sense of unity and togetherness and I am proud of their actions,’ said director of football Victor Orta (pictured top).
Although professional football is suspended until April 30, resuming straight after that looks increasingly unlikely, though both the Premier League and EFL are currently committed to ending the current campaign during an ‘indefinite’ timeframe. It was reported yesterday a new date for when football could resume would be announced next week.
In an attempt to allow this to happen, it has emerged world governing body Fifa is looking into extending player contracts and delaying transfer windows until this season ends.
It is also opening the door for clubs and players to agree on deferred or reduced salaries — something Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu is reportedly already in talks over.