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Premier League stars warn of Sh26 bn shortfall in virus wage cut row

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk was the PFA Men’s Players’ Player of the Year in 2019 © AFP/File / JAVIER SORIANO

LONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 4 – The Professional Footballers’ Association warned on Saturday of a Sh26 billion ($245 million) shortfall for British government coffers if a sweeping cut in wages was introduced for Premier League players to offset the financial fall-out from the coronavirus.

Clubs and players’ representatives discussed a combination of pay cuts and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of annual salary.

However, no immediate agreement was reached.

“All Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times,” said a PFA statement.

“We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks.”

However, the PFA insisted it was too simplistic to criticise multi-millionaire players for not easily agreeing to cuts.

“The proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government,” the PFA statement added.

“What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the National Health Service?”

In Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players have agreed to pay cuts of 70% while the stars of Italian champions Juventus will be paid a reduced amount for the next four months.

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