The Premier League’s players have been urged to take pay cuts by Gillingham chairman Paul Scally, according to a report in the Mirror.
Scally says that players from the Premier League down to League Two will have to take wage cuts in order to save football during the Coronavirus crisis.
The Gillingham chairman is one of the more prominent members of the EFL and has called for a ‘solidarity plan’ where all clubs across the four divisions agree to pay-cuts.
Scally suggested that wealthy clubs like Manchester City should provide loans to smaller clubs.
The Gillingham chief has urged all clubs across all four divisions to negotiate pay cuts because he fears that clubs won’t be able to pay players their wages, including the high wages earned by Premier League players.
Speaking to the media as cited in the Mirror, Scally said:
“If the PFA says players won’t take a pay cut then you will find most clubs in Leagues One and Two won’t be paying them.”
“Then you will have 20 players at each club, 50 clubs, 1,000 players out of work and Gordon Taylor is not stupid. He will know that.”
“It will be exactly the same in the Premier League, believe me. If this goes on for a long time, there’s no way that Premier League clubs can carry on paying players £100,000-a-week, let alone £200,000-a-week. No chance.”
“If you’ve got a player on £3,000-a-week in League One, they maybe take home about £8,500-a-month, and how much do they need? You can take a mortgage holiday in these are desperate times. You don’t need too much to get by. They’ve got to readjust – or be out of work.”
“If you’re a Premier League star, got five cars, then just don’t pay the lease for three months. There’s something not right about the wealth in the Premier League but this is doomsday, this is armageddon.”
“It will be a wake-up call. The Ferraris will be going, the Lamborghini too. Fans have had enough of it. Football is in a bubble and maybe it needs to burst.”
“If it means wage cuts then that’s how it’s got to be. If we show solidarity, all four divisions, the 91 clubs, we all agree not to buy from each other and then none of the players can move and they’ll have to take it or leave it when it comes to the contracts.”
“If Gordon Taylor turns round and says: ‘You’re in breach of contract, they can all walk free.’ OK, let them all walk free and see where they end up.”
“I think it will be well received by the fans. I reckon people will be more comfortable if football goes back to the real world.”
“No-one wants to read about £100m transfers – that’s obscene when people and society is struggling and it’s life and death.”
“The state-owned fund that owns Manchester City, they’ve not got to give football anything, but why not give football a soft loan of £100m over five years, ten years, to League One or League Two clubs would get us through six months and be a drop in the ocean for them.”
“I’m disappointed that something like that has not happened but there are talks between the Premier League, EFL and PFA so I hope something can be sorted – but it should be.”
“There should be a solidarity pot. Championship clubs would be forced to pay 20 per cent of their losses. If you make £50m loss then pay £10m into the pot. That would soon reduce their losses!”
“Anything is possible if we all come together. In Leagues One or Two, you’ve probably only got four or five really wealthy owners, if you look across the two divisions then you’re probably talking about 40 or 45 clubs in serious danger.”
The situation certainly has cause for concern.
According to Scally, the only way English football will be saved from the economic ramifications of the Coronavirus crisis is if players and clubs across the four divisions unite and help each other by taking pay cuts for the next few months.