‘Difficult economic decisions’ must be made as Premier League and EFL vow to deal with financial fall-out of coronavirus crisis
- Credit: PA
The EFL have admitted ‘difficult financial decisions’ will need to be made as the league search for a way to conclude the halted 2019/20 season.
All professional football is suspended until at least April 30 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and, while the league have today reiterated no games will be played until then at the earliest, it’s almost certain the halt will be extended further.
The Premier League, the EFL and PFA met today to discuss the way forward, with a joint statement admitting the economic impact of the pandemic will cause serious problems for the game and will require tough decisions in regard to a solution.
Non-league football below National League level, as well as the women’s game, has seen seasons declared null and void this week, but there remains a desire to avoid that in the professional ranks and to play the current campaign to a conclusion when it’s safe to do so.
MORE: ‘I’m desperate to help in any way I can’ - Lambert agrees to wage deferral to help club staff during coronavirus crisisThe huge financial and legal ramifications in the professional game make any solution difficult, while the Premier League and EFL have previously stated a desire to wrap up the season by June 30 so as to not interfere with the transfer window or bring complications regarding players’ contracts, which typically expire at the end of June.
In their statement, the Premier League and EFL have vowed to work together, along with the PFA, to find a solution.
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The statement reads: “The Premier League, EFL and PFA met today and discussed the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was stressed that the thoughts of all three organisations continue to be with everyone affected by the virus.
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“The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions.
“The leagues will not recommence until 30 April at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow.
“Further meetings will take place next week with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their Clubs, players, staff and fans.”
Clubs throughout the leagues have begun deferring wages in a bid to help off-field staff retain jobs, with Town boss Paul Lambert making that commitment himself on Thursday night.