London – There is currently no end in sight for the football break in the English Premier League. The 20 clubs agreed on Friday to suspend game operations indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis.
In addition, the clubs announced that they would propose a 30 percent cut in their players’ wages. A meeting with the player and coaching unions is planned for this on Saturday. They also work on financial aid for the lower leagues, it said. No concrete measures have yet been mentioned.
A continuation of the season in May, as it was initially intended, the managers of the clubs do not consider feasible. “The 2019/20 season will only continue if it is safe and appropriate,” said the Premier League. The common goal, however, is “to play all national league and cup games so that the integrity of every competition is preserved.”
Earlier in the day, British media had reported considering ending the summer season at select locations in England without an audience. All outstanding games would be televised. Similar to a World Cup, teams, coaches and staff from each club would move into their own team quarters for two months, isolated from the outside world, to minimize the risk of infection with the Sars CoV-2 virus as much as possible.
Unlike in Germany, Spain, and Italy, the football professionals in England had not yet committed to waiving salaries. Talks between the league and the unions had been unsuccessful on Thursday. The players’ union PFA complained that players should forego funds, while club shareholders could get through the coronavirus crisis without loss and benefit from the waiver.
The uncertainty about how and when things will go on in English football has begun to bear curious blossoms. As reported by the online magazine “The Athletic”, an unspecified Premier League club is said to have proposed to end the season in China because the country has already recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. However, such a move is considered extremely unlikely.