The EFL has opened negotiations with the PFA over players taking a sabbatical until the Coronavirus crisis has passed, according to talkSPORT host Jim White.
Football, especially in the lower leagues, is facing a financial crisis, with all football suspended until the end of April at the earliest.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani had said that the club was facing a potential disaster and the immediate loss of £2.5m from gate receipts from the final five home games of the season.
Talking on the White & Sawyer show (talkSPORT, Thursday, 10am), White said, “We’re just hearing that the Football League have opened talks with the PFA about players taking a sabbatical.”
White was talking with Forest green owner Dale Vince who said he was very interested to hear more about that after revealing he had put his club in “hibernation”.
“We don’t know any more than you,” replied White, “except that the EFL has opened negotiations with the PFA about players being put on sabbatical until the Coronavirus outbreak is over.”
This comes shortly after Leeds announced that their players had agreed to wage deferrals so that all non-football staff could get paid.
Dale commented on this saying: “I think it’s really impressive that staff and players have done that at Leeds. Our wages are much lower… When I say we’ve put the club into hibernations, we’re using the government job retention scheme to pay people.”
Leeds have taken the lead here, along with Birmingham, and we’re really proud the Whites players have made such an outstanding gesture.
The non-footballing staff that keep the club going will have been really concerned about money since Elland Road and Thorp Arch were shut down.
However, despite Radrizzani saying Leeds were facing a disaster, there will be other clubs in an even more precarious position, such as League 2 outfit Forest Green.
Putting players on sabbatical is a radical suggestion that could see players rely on the government to keep them going until football resumes again.
Something radical has to happen, though. The 71 teams in the football league have to be looked after – whether that’s from the Premier League, the FA, the PFA or the government.
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