Premier League players will be asked to take a 30% drop in their wages, via cuts or deferrals or both, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the clubs agreed at a meeting on Friday.
The move came as the 20 top-flight teams said they would give £125m to the EFL and National League to help their clubs through the crisis and donate £20m to support the NHS, communities, families and vulnerable groups.
A Premier League statement said: “In the face of substantial and continuing losses for the 2019-20 season since the suspension of matches began, and to protect employment throughout the professional game, Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to consult their players regarding a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30% of total annual remuneration.”
Further talks on the issue are due to be held on Saturday involving the Professional Footballers’ Association, league, players and club representatives.
An agreement on salary drops follows calls from MPs, including the health secretary, Matt Hancock, for such action.
The league confirmed there was no prospect of games resuming at the start of May and said the season would return only “when it is safe and appropriate to do so”. The same applies to all other senior men’s and women’s football in England where the intention is to continue playing.
The money being advanced to clubs in tiers two to six of the English game was agreed, the statement said, because of “the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramid are suffering”.
The League Managers Association earlier said that the “vast majority of clubs, particularly in the EFL,” had used the government scheme to furlough staff.