The PFA will hold talks with the Premier League and EFL today as football looks to get to grips with the way the coronavirus is affecting the finances of clubs like Coventry City.
With income streams suspended, Championship clubs Birmingham City and Leeds United have already asked players to accept wage deferrals for the next four months.
But the football union’s chief Gordon Taylor has warned clubs could be slapped with transfer embargoes because the rules would not allow them to make “big-money” signings while still owing money to existing players on their books.
League One chairman Darragh MacAnthony, who is joint owner ofSky Blues’ promotion rivals Peterborough United, believes it’s “sensible” for players to take a wage cut if the football lay-off goes on for longer than currently expected.
Coventry have no plans on asking their players to take wage cuts or deferrals, with City’s chief executiveDave Boddyinsisting any such action would have to be led by the PFA.
Sunderland confirmed last week that they had taken cost cutting measures by placing a number of their non-playing staff on furlough leave during the postponement, with 80% of their wages to be covered by the government’s subsidy scheme and the club covering the rest.
A number of other League One clubs have taken similar steps, including MK Dons, Accrington Stanley and Rotherham United.
A division-by-division agreement may not be possible, Taylor concedes, but he suggested a task force could assess deferrals at clubs on a case-by-case basis.
What the union is keen to avoid is a situation where clubs defer payments to players on hardship grounds but then move into the transfer market.
Taylor told the Press Association: “It’s not a time to be relaxing regulations on financial propriety when we have already had problems with Football League clubs such as Bury.
“If a club is doing deferrals then the regulations state that they would be embargoed from signing any players.
“It’s ridiculous to have clubs deferring their obligations to players and then making big-money transfer signings.
“Also the football creditor rule must remain in existence rather than have clubs build up debts, many of which would be to the players, and then write those off, and look to reform again. So there are lots of situations we need to be protected from in order to hold things together.
“We feel it’s much better if we have a task force, and that we look at particular clubs in particular divisions through that means in order to justify things to the players.
“What tomorrow’s [Wednesday’s] meeting is to look at is all the financial data from clubs in their respective leagues and then to have a structure in place to deal with those clubs who are most in need.
“But it’s about trying to avoid clubs doing their own thing without any particular structure or guidance so that you end up with players at one club envious of players at another.