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PFA calls for urgent talks

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Pep Clotet

Pep Clotet

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Pep Clotet

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has called for urgent talks with the Premier League and the EFL over the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on players and clubs.

The loss of matchday revenue has hit clubs hard, particularly in the EFL, and raised the prospect of clubs asking players to accept wage deferrals.

It was reported on Tuesday that Birmingham, managed by Pep Clotet, had become the first Championship team to do so, and that they were seeking approval from players earning more than £6,000 a week to take a temporary 50 per cent cut.

The PFA has now urged all sides to talk in a bid to tackle the unprecedented crisis.

"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," a PFA statement read.

The union is also part of discussions at international level regarding contracts and the resumption of league action.

World governing body FIFA has established a working group to look at temporary dispensations and amendments to standard June 30 contracts, in the expectation that many leagues will need to play on well beyond that date in order to complete the 2019-20 season.

The PFA's deputy chief executive, Bobby Barnes, is also the president of the European division of world players' union FIFPRO.

In addition to the reports concerning Birmingham, League Two side Forest Green said they were planning to use the British government's wage support scheme, whereby it covers up to 80 per cent of salary up to £2,500 a month for employees kept on by a company. Earlier this month the EFL announced it as releasing a £50million package to clubs to ease cash flow problems.