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PFA calls for emergency meeting over financial impact of coronavirus on Premier League and Football League clubs

20:43 GMT+4 25/03/2020
Brentford coronavirus
The enforced halt has affected English teams across the football pyramid and the players' union is concerned it will hit their members' pockets

The Professional Footballers' Association has called for a meeting with the sport's top authorities over the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Premier League was suspended on March 13 after both Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the illness, followed by the rest of the English footballing pyramid in the subsequent days. 

That stoppage has had a devastating effects on the economic health of many clubs due to the loss of match-day income, especially in the lower leagues where such revenue is vital to day-to-day life. 

As a result, clubs across the country are reportedly considering reducing players' salaries or even enforcing lay-offs; a scenario that the PFA is desperate to avoid. 

"The PFA has called for an urgent meeting with both the Premier League and English Football League to discuss the impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on the finances of both clubs and players," the organisation signalled in a statement released on Wednesday.

"As with other industries, the current COVID-19 crisis is having a severe impact on the finances of the game. Several clubs have already approached players with a view to imposing pay deferrals.   

"In order to deal with this situation, we have called for an urgent meeting with both the Premier League and the EFL to discuss how we might proceed going forward."

Maintaining training regimes is also a concern with the United Kingdom having officially entered mandatory quarantine this week, making group sessions impossible.

"Separately, we have worked closely with the Premier League, EFL and WSL, agreeing on protocols in terms of training regimes and timetables for suspension of group training," the statement continued.

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

"In these difficult times, there is a strong public consensus for football to be seen as acting in solidarity with other workers and industries affected by the crisis."

To date the United Kingdom has suffered more than 8,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with more than 400 deaths recorded as of Wednesday.