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Premier League confirm indefinite suspension of season, propose 30 per cent wage cuts

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Plus support for the NHS and lower league football

UK On Lockdown Due To Coronavirus Pandemic Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Confirming yesterday’s reports, the Premier League have officially suspended the 2019-20 season until further notice, unanimously agreed to “consult” with players on a 30 per cent wage cut (or deferments), decided on the amount of support to give to lower league clubs, and also to make a donation to the National Health Service (NHS) to support them in their fight against the pandemic.

While the overall aim remains to still play the season out to some sort of proper-ish conclusion, for now, other things are obviously taking much higher priority.

The Chelsea website has the full statement; here are a few relevant parts:

“It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time.

The Premier League is working closely with the whole of professional football in this country, as well as with the Government, public agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution. With this, there is a combined objective for all remaining domestic league and cup matches to be played, enabling us to maintain the integrity of each competition. However, any return to play will only be with the full support of Government and when medical guidance allows.”

Regarding proposed budget cuts:

“To protect employment throughout the professional game, Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to consult their players regarding a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 per cent of total annual remuneration. This guidance will be kept under constant review as circumstances change.”

Regarding support of lower league clubs:

“...unanimously voted to advance funds of £125 million to the EFL and National League as it is aware of the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramid are suffering at this time.”

And last but certainly not least, regarding support of the NHS:

“The Premier League is immediately committing £20 million to support the NHS, communities, families and vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a direct financial contribution to the NHS and funds to enable clubs to refocus their efforts and develop significant outreach programmes to help communities, including those most in need. This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis.”

In line with such support and programmes, Chelsea have also announced an initiative to raise funds for Refuge, a national charity that supports those who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. Cases of domestic abuse are expected to rise during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown. Chelsea will match every penny donated at donate.refuge.org.uk/Chelsea, and will presumably make a sizable donation as well.

“I am proud to lead the club’s support of this worthy cause during such a difficult time for so many.

“There are many things for people to deal with in the present climate but it is important we support the vulnerable and those who may feel alone or without a voice.

“I hope this campaign can do that and make a difference to those who need support.”

-Emma Hayes; source: Chelsea FC