No deal yet over Premier League wage cuts

Tottenham are among the clubs requesting public money assistance during the COVID-19 EPL shutdown.
Tottenham are among the clubs requesting public money assistance during the COVID-19 EPL shutdown.

Talks between the Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) over potential wage cuts or deferrals, due to the coronavirus stoppage, have failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday.

Senior representatives from the Premier League, players union, Football League (EFL) and the League Managers Association (LMA) discussed several issues arising from the pandemic and said they would continue talks.

The EPL season has been suspended until at least April 30 due to the pandemic and clubs across the country have been hit by significant losses in match-day revenue.

Tottenham Hotspur's decision to impose a 20 per cent wage reduction on 550 non-playing staff and moves by Newcastle United, Bournemouth and Norwich City to also use the UK government's furlough scheme - meaning public money would be used to pay their employees during their enforced temporary leave - has prompted some sharp criticism.

The decision of clubs to seek help to pay staff, while their top stars continue to earn lucrative salaries, has led some to question the moral status of the game.

Julian Knight, a lawmaker from the governing Conservative Party, who is chair of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee in the British parliament, has condemned such moves.

"It sticks in the throat," Knight said.

"This exposes the crazy economics in English football and the moral vacuum at its centre."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told BBC Radio 5 Live top-flight players should be the ones to "carry the burden".

In a letter seen BBC Sport, the PFA sent an email to all its members asking them not to sign any agreement with their clubs about wage cuts or deferrals without consulting with the union.

The PFA did not provide comment when contacted about the issue by Reuters.

But it did release a joint statement with the Premier League after Wednesday's meeting.

"No decisions were taken today, with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019/20 season," the statement read.

While the union looks for a collective agreement, Bournemouth said on Wednesday that the club's chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, manager Eddie Howe and assistant manager Jason Tindall had all taken "significant, voluntary pay cuts for the entirety of this uncertain time".

Australian Associated Press