Premier League, EFL Agree Season Resumption Only When ‘Safe and Appropriate’

By Agencies

The Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and representatives of the game’s players and managers have all agreed that the season cannot resume until it is “safe and appropriate to do so”.

Senior representatives from the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), Premier League, EFL and League Managers Association (LMA) met on Wednesday April 1, 2020 to discuss the challenges facing the sport during the coronavirus pandemic.

All English football was suspended last month, with the Premier League and EFL announcing at the time that fixtures will not resume until April 30 “at the earliest”.

The resumption of the 2019/20 season was one of several issues discussed on Wednesday, but no decisions were made and talks are set to continue this week.

Player salaries were also high on the agenda, following a number of club owners and chairmen warning that a wage deferral is inevitable if clubs are to get through the current situation and survive the financial burden of the pandemic.

A joint statement from the Premier League, EFL, LMA and PFA read: “Senior representatives from the PFA, Premier League, EFL and LMA met today and shared a constructive meeting regarding the challenges facing the game as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The meeting reiterated that the overriding priority is the health and well-being of the nation – including that of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters – and everyone agreed football must only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

On Wednesday, Bournemouth announced that manager Eddie Howe has become the first Premier League boss to take a voluntary pay cut.

Newcastle, Norwich, Bournemouth and Tottenham and a high number of EFL clubs have announced that many non-playing staff have been furloughed in order to take up the benefits of the government financial scheme to preserve jobs.

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