Premier League players may be given no other choice than to accept up to 50% pay cuts over the coming months, as top-flight clubs fear they 'could go bust' following the league's suspension due to the coronavirus.
The 2019/20 football season has come to a complete standstill all over Europe, as the deadly virus continues to spread at an alarming rate, particularly affecting the likes of Italy and Spain.
And football teams at every level are beginning to feel the pinch, with lower league clubs struggling to pay their staff's wages, having lost out on vital match-day revenue. But not many of us expected the top tier sides to be put into crisis mode due to the halted fixture list.
The Telegraph reports that some Premier League teams may be forced into drastic action, however, and players might be required to take significant pay cuts, as one chairman - who prefers to remain anonymous - fears his club 'could go bust' due to their hefty expenses.
The chairman expressed his concerns over the lack of cash flow, and talked about the worrying possibility of missing out on 'ladder payments' which each club receives based on their final position in the league table at the end of the season.
The club is ready to propose a 50% wage cut to players earning more than £15,000 a week, which will be paid back over a 12-month period. Another club is also hoping to enforce 50% wage deferrals, but it's expected that the figure will need to be closer to the 20% mark to be pushed through.
Top-flight clubs certainly earn far more money than teams in the lower leagues, but playing at the highest level requires a much higher wage budget to attract football's top stars, and they possess a bigger number of staff on the books.
Clubs will soon be able to place players on 'furlough', in accordance with the government's new job protection scheme, meaning the stars continue to be paid - but are not allowed to work.
Clubs would then be eligible to claim 80%
Premier League clubs are hoping for an answer by Friday, prior to a number of meetings that will take place.
These are worrying times for everyone - at every level.