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The 20 Premier League Captains reached agreement for this Official PFA Statement to be released

2 months ago
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An Official PFA Statement has now been released, having been agreed by all 20 Premier League Captains.

Published late on Saturday (4 April), it follows on from the Premier League statement put out on Friday following their meeting.

The PFA statement approved by the 20 Premier League Captains says that the players are totally committed to doing their bit during this crisis BUT that they are not convinced in many ways, with regard to the Premier League proposals.

The Premier League proposals were:

£20m to charitable causes.

Advancing £125m to the EFL and National League clubs.

A 12-month 30% salary cut/deferral in wages for Premier League players.

However, the Premier League captains/players think far more than £20m should be donated to charitable clauses.

They also point out that the EFL and National League clubs need far more help from the Premier League than what has been proposed. The £125m that will be advanced is simply money that is being made available earlier than scheduled, it will help cashflow at the moment but PL players are saying there needs to be an increase in how much money goes to help the lower divisions.

As for the 30% proposed wage cut/deferral for Premier League players, the PFA point out that stopping a percentage of wages will lead to potentially hundreds of millions of pounds lost to the treasury in terms of lost tax, money that could go to help fund the NHS and other essential services.

What is not included in the PFA Official Statement of course, is the biggest concern of players.

As has been reported widely elsewhere, the Premier League Captains and players are worried that any pay cut (as opposed to deferred wages) would/could simply see unscrupulous billionaire PL club owners benefit. Players wanting guarantees that if they do agree a wage cut, that money would benefit good causes, whether the NHS or ensuring lower paid people continue to be paid in full as normal.

The PFA Official Statement agreed by all 20 Premier League Captains – Saturday 4 April 2020:

All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times.

All Premier League players fully appreciate their role and responsibilities in society during this current crisis. They care deeply for those who are suffering with loss, health and hardship at the moment.

Discussions about how players can best financially contribute have been ongoing during the current crisis, and prior to yesterday’s announcement by the Premier League.

The Premier League players want to take the lead and ensure their financial contributions will support:

Our clubs that we play for will obviously need our support, particularly if this crisis goes beyond June.

Non-playing staff at our Premier League clubs – guaranteeing they receive 100% of their wages.

EFL and non-league clubs, their staff and players.

The NHS – whose workers – many of whom are football fans – are doing so much for us all. They are the real heroes.

We cannot stress enough that football is in this together. Solidarity and putting aside any self-interest is paramount.

To re-cap what the Premier League proposed within the announcement yesterday:

£20m to charitable causes.

Advancing £125m to the EFL and National League clubs.

A 12-month 30% salary cut/deferral in wages for Premier League players.

£20m is welcome, but we believe it could be far bigger.

The EFL money is an advance. Importantly, it will aid cashflow in the immediate, but football needs to find a way to increase funding to the EFL and non-league clubs in the long-term.

Many clubs require an increase in funding just to survive. We believe in our football pyramid and again stress the need for solidarity between all clubs.

Going forward, we are working together to find a solution which will be continually reviewed in order to assess the circumstance of the COVID-19 crisis.

The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services – which are especially critical at this time. Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services.

The proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government.

What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS?

Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?

We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks.

It is our priority to finalise the precise details of our commitment as soon as possible. However, to achieve a collective position for all Premier League players – of which there are many different financial and contractual circumstances from club-to-club – will take a bit more time.

The PFA Charity has also agreed to make a substantial contribution to a player-led initiative once the details are finalised.

There should be no doubting the players and captains are committed to achieving this as soon as possible. They recognise their role in wider society and what they need to do, as a group, to help and support others.

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