Premier League chief defends clubs furloughing employees amid coronavirus crisis

Tanya Simon
April 9, 2020

Amidst all the uncertainty about the footballing leagues because of the COVID-19 outbreak, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is quite sure that Liverpool will be crowned Premier League champions, regardless the season is restarted or not.

The Football League is also negotiating with the PFA for what is understood to be an even higher percentage of deferral.

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

In a searing statement, he warned: "Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it".

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the Premier League and soccer in general have become an easy target amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first time, this season's new Premier League overseas TV rights deal sees the highest finishing clubs paid significantly more than those in the bottom half, with current league leaders Liverpool standing to lose the most in television money (£55.2), combined with £33.8m of commercial losses and a further £13.6m in matchday revenues. "We are threatened with clubs and leagues to get rid of it if the finances fall apart". In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders - from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators - need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive. "Individual clubs will need to make these decisions based on their own forecasts as each club will have its own unique position".

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"It is frankly laughable to think that clubs are showing restraint on use of government money to pay non-playing staff and flies in the face of public opinion", said Knight.

Liverpool issued an apology and reversed their decision to furlough 200 staff members and Tottenham and Newcastle have been criticized for using the scheme, while players have revealed various views on whether or not the 2019-20 season should be finished or deemed null and void.

"We have a fantastic team, we don't lack anything, we have all the tools necessary to go on winning: A coach we identify with, a versatile squad, a style of play that breeds victories, a stadium and supporters that play their part".

The PFA has argued that a pay cut for the players would actually harm the British National Health Service and its staff fighting the pandemic as it would reduce the players' tax contributions.

England's top-flight stars have come under fire over their lack of action, which contrasts sharply with significant pay cuts taken by players at other leading European clubs such as Barcelona and Juventus.

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