Player In England Fears Over Missing Out On Fees After League Halted

Footballers are seeking
legal advice amid concerns their lucrative wage and bonus structures
will be in jeopardy if the season is declared null and void – or doesn’t
start again for months.

Player In England Fears Over Missing Out On Fees After League Halted 1

Bonus
payments are common place, with players eligible for top-ups to their
basic salaries. And many players are on pay-as-you-play deals.

But the threat of the season being cancelled is set to cause chaos over what players are entitled to.

A
number of lower-league players, particularly those on highly
incentivised contracts, face the prospect of missing out on thousands of
pounds if the season does not restart.

Hundreds of players
in the EFL have deals which pay them a low basic wage which increases
significantly once they are paid bonuses such as appearance money.

Players
lower down the football pyramid are now under serious financial
pressure, with many fearing they will struggle to pay bills without the
extra cash.

As a result, players have sought legal guidance
over whether they are entitled to all or some of the bonuses they may
have been due, if the season is cancelled.

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While
lower-league players will inevitably be the worst hit, the emerging
doubt over bonuses also has significant implications in the Premier
League. Given the amounts top-flight players earn, the consequences are
far less severe for them, of course.

Player In England Fears Over Missing Out On Fees After League Halted 2

In certain cases, players even stand to benefit financially if the season is deemed null and void.

For instance, Norwich players would be forced to take pay-cuts if, as looks likely at the moment, they are relegated.

Voiding the season would preserve their Premier League status and thus protect their current salaries.

Having
seen their salaries slashed by 20 per cent for failing to qualify for
this season’s Champions League, Manchester United players’ wages will
increase to the original amount if they secure entry into the
competition next term.

Given Manchester City’s European
suspension, United, who are currently in fifth place in the league,
would qualify for the Champions League the way things stand at the
moment. Likewise, third-placed Leicester’s players are on course to earn
hefty Champions League qualification bonuses.

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Player In England Fears Over Missing Out On Fees After League Halted 3

The
true financial damage caused by the coronavirus crisis will become
clearer in the months ahead. But Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy believes
the pandemic represents the biggest challenge of his 20-year tenure.

Levy has vowed to ensure the virus does not ‘undermine the future stability of the club’.

Levy
was speaking as the club announced their financial results for 2018-19,
when Spurs recorded £460million in revenue – the fourth highest in the
Premier League.

He said: ‘I have spent nearly 20 years
growing this club and there have been many hurdles along the way – the
pandemic is the most serious of them all.

‘You will have
noticed that we have, as a necessity, ceased all fan-facing operations.
With such uncertainty we shall all need to work together to ensure the
impact of this crisis does not undermine the future stability of the
club.’

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Player In England Fears Over Missing Out On Fees After League Halted 4

In
Scotland, Premiership side Hearts on Wednesday announced that all
players and staff are to take a 50 per cent cut in wages, starting from
next month, in a bid to keep the club afloat during the crisis.

Meanwhile, FIFA will make a £8.5m donation to the World Heath Organisation to support efforts to tackle Covid-19.

The president of football’s global governing body, Gianni Infantino, announced the move in a statement on Tuesday.

He
also confirmed that the organisation will accept requests from Uefa and
CONMEBOL to postpone the Euro 2020 and Copa America tournaments that
were due to be staged this summer.

John Obi Mikel has had
his Trabzonspor contract terminated by mutual consent after the former
Chelsea midfielder took to Instagram to protest that matches in Turkey
were still going ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic.