EFL and PFA release statement on wage agreements for some of Leeds United's fellow Championship clubs

The EFL and PFA have released a joint statement saying more Championship clubs have followed in Leeds United's footsteps and reached financial agreements with players to help with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 4:28 pm

A suspension of all domestic football due to the coronvirus pandemic has hit the sport hard, with income virtually drying up for many clubs, leading Luton chief executive Gary Sweet to warn that the future of outfits 'at every level' are in peril unless the game's authorities come up with a 'swift and material aid package.'

Leeds United, whose owner Andrea Radrizzani said the five home games they could not play would cost around £2.5m in revenue, have already reached a wage deferral agreement in order to safeguard the employment of hundreds of members of staff.

Today's statement focused primarily on the EFL and PFA's discussions with clubs in League One and League Two that have continued over the Easter period, which culminated in an agreement to form a working group of six captains or delegates from each division, supported by a PFA nominated representative.

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Clubs in the lower leagues are to hold discussions with players and reach agreements 'at a local level' but they have, according to the statement, 'acknowledged the strength of a collective approach to support and inform their decisions.'

The working group will explore options surrounding player wages and keep players informed as they engage in talks with their own club.

The statement said: "In establishing the new group, the EFL and PFA acknowledge the common problems faced by the League and member Clubs, and the need for all parties to be part of a solution. Dialogue with the working group will enable the league both to listen to the concerns of players and to explain the extent of the financial challenges. It will focus not just on the short term (May and June) but will address the medium-term position from the start of July onwards and into next season.

"In order to deal with the most immediate payroll issue, the EFL is recommending to clubs that local discussions are held with players in respect of the month of April only. A compromise proposal has been agreed between the EFL and the PFA for those clubs engaged in deferral negotiations with their players, meaning that, up to a maximum of 25 per cent of players’ wages for April may be conditionally deferred within the following limits: Players earning less than £2,500 per month will be paid in full, the 25% reduction must not take any player below £2,500 per month.

SILENT: Leeds United's Elland Road ground has not hosted a game since March 7. Picture: Tony Johnson.

"This is a recommendation and not a directive as there are Clubs who have stated no requirement to take immediate action at this time."

With regards to the Championship, where Leeds United led the way by becoming the first club to confirm a wage deferral 'for the foreseeable future' for players, staff and senior management, the EFL and PFA say other clubs are still in talks with their playing staff and some have also reached agreements.

"The current position in respect of the Championship is that clubs last week agreed to conduct wage negotiations with players at a local level, while making financial information available to support their position," said the statement.

"A number of Championship clubs have concluded agreements with players and others will be holding discussions this week."