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    • Waiting for the "Klopp considering his future at Liverpool" stories over the next couple of weeks.
    • Just posted an Athletic article on the FSG thread , says another 10 clubs are expected to announce furlough on top of the 6 already announced.
    • That Peter Moore should have realised. He's always bleating on about the community work and Shankly etc. He is originally from Liverpool so should have realised the backlash the club would get from rival fans, media  as well as Liverpool fans.
    • Report on the PL meeting from The Athletic   The Premier League’s hopes of striking a deal to secure 30 per cent wage deductions or deferrals from players were in peril on Saturday night as footballers became increasingly concerned that agreements may benefit club ownerships more than non-playing staff or the emergency services. At 3pm on Saturday afternoon — an idea conceived by the Premier League’s interim chair Claudia Arney to mirror the traditional kick-off time — the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) held a conference call with players from the 20 Premier League clubs, in addition to club and League Managers’ Association (LMA) representatives. On Friday, it had been announced that Premier League clubs had unanimously agreed to consult their players over striking a deal “regarding a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 per cent of annual remuneration”. One senior source present on the call described the talks at “utterly inconclusive” and, on Saturday evening, the PFA released a statement agreed by the 20 Premier League captains. The PFA statement called on Premier League clubs to give more than the £20 million already committed to charities and to increase funding to EFL and non-League clubs. However, players questioned the wisdom of a 30 per cent “salary deduction”. Sources close to the discussions have interpreted the statement as a near-on declaration of war by the PFA, who intend to fight tooth-and-nail against the clubs. Another source suggested this was the most extreme point of tension between Premier League players and their employees in the 28-year history of the competition. As tensions simmered, The Athletic can also reveal that one leading club’s board has been informed by players that they will not accept a pay cut — only deferrals — and on the guarantee that all staff members are retained on full pay. Those players are also now discussing a separate squad donation to the NHS via their net salaries or through a Professional Footballers’ Association communal pot. Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson had led a campaign by Premier League captains to make a collective donation to the NHS through the PFA but this is not yet finalised. This rival club’s players are becoming agitated by the delays and keen to help as the death toll rises, the squad are now discussing a breakaway from the collective plan and fast-tracking the process by pooling money through a deduction to their net salary and sending it through the club as a charitable donation. Those players do not want the club owners benefiting from their gestures and bosses are now considering the proposals. In addition, some playing representatives want their commercial and media responsibilities reduced if they agree to substantial pay reductions. However, one Premier League club sent messages to their squad last week informing them they will be required to undertake a range of media commitments to provide right holders with content in the absence of live football. Elsewhere, rival clubs were left bemused by Liverpool’s decision to announce the furloughing of more than 200 employees on the day clubs were hoping to persuade players to sign up to deferrals, while there was already exasperation towards Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy over their decision to furlough staff and reduce non-playing wages earlier in the week. Some clubs believe steps taken by their rivals have jeopardised hopes of an across-the-board agreement — something revealed by The Athletic on Monday —  and each club may now need to negotiate with their players on a case-by-case basis. The situation is further inflamed as many players feel executives have allowed them to become public scapegoats and there is now a fervent public relations war brewing between players and their clubs. The PFA have, in essence, rejected the Premier League proposal for the 30 per cent cuts and deferrals. The PFA are confident they have the backing of playing representatives from all 20 Premier League teams. The PFA statement read: “The players are mindful that as PAYE employees, the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services — which are especially critical at this time. Taking a thirty per cent salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and government-funded services. The proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to our government. What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean to the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?” During Saturday’s voice-call conference, the Premier League made a presentation to prominent dressing room voices from each club this afternoon. Club executives and some managers, including Manchester United’s Ed Woodward and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, were also on the call. It is understood West Ham’s Mark Noble, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Watford’s Troy Deeney were the only playing representatives that spoke and it was questioned how wage cuts could be the same across all 20 clubs. Watford will hold talks with their players next week and are hopeful of finding an arrangement by the end of the week. Premier League players had initially been under the impression that any wage deferrals or reductions they agreed would ensure that clubs were able to fully pay non-playing staff. However, Tottenham proposed wage cuts in addition to placing staff onto the government’s furlough scheme earlier in the week. Bournemouth, Norwich, Newcastle and Liverpool have all followed in putting staff on furlough. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme sees the government step in to cover 80 per cent of wages for the next two months, capped at a maximum of £2,500 a month. The latter four clubs have committed to topping up the wages to ensure employees continue to receive their full salary. However, Liverpool’s decision, in particular, provoked a public backlash as the club announced a pre-tax profit of £42 million on revenues of £533 million only five weeks ago. As clubs employ the government’s scheme and call in the taxpayer to cover salaries, players now want to understand where their personal money they sacrifice will go. The players are determined that any money they do give up should go to non-playing staff at their own clubs or the emergency services, unless the clubs can prove in their accounts that the organisation is under threat without the money. The Athletic has been told to expect more than 10 Premier League sides to resort to the furlough scheme in the coming weeks. It comes at a time when top-level players are showing genuine concern for the NHS. Jacob and Josh Murphy — contracted to Newcastle and Cardiff respectively — have been working as volunteers in Downham Market in Norfolk for the last two days, delivering Boots prescriptions to the elderly. Premier League clubs remain adamant that sacrifices must be made amid reduced revenue streams and also against the backdrop of major fears that the 20 sides may yet need to repay £762 million to broadcasters should the season fail to complete. The crunch talks on Saturday came amid certain clubs informing players that they would not be needed for training until at least May. Some leading foreign players have therefore taken the opportunity to return to their families in their own countries, hiring private jets to get home amid commercial travel restrictions. One Premier League club told players this week to treat this period as their offseason for the calendar year 2020. A source said: “This is their break and sorry if that means they can’t have a sunny holiday.” On Friday, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson — in tandem with the PFA — led division-wide talks with Premier League captains that would see top-flight players make a donation to Britain’s health service. However, the Premier League’s announcement over potential 30 per cent cuts or deferrals saw the plans put on hold as players sought clarity over their club’s intentions. Some players therefore went cold on the bulk donation idea and Henderson, along with other players such as team-mate James Milner, thought it best to delay any announcement until details are finalised. In addition, the idea of collective initiatives is complicated by the fact many players are already engaging in individual donations and schemes, such as Manchester United’s David de Gea making a £270,000 donation to the Spanish health services, while his team-mate Marcus Rashford has led a fundraiser worth in excess of £140,000 for meals for vulnerable children in Manchester. Henderson, along with Milner, wanted the division’s players fully unified before an announcement about the pot of money. There was also said to be frustration among Liverpool players that the club had announced the decision to furlough staff just as their captain Henderson had received public acclaim for attempting to rally support for the NHS. The prospect of a broad agreement for the 30 per cent wage deferral or cut is further undermined by tensions between the Premier League and the PFA. The players’ union felt the rug was pulled from under their feet when the Premier League announced on Friday that deferrals or cuts could be worth up to 30 per cent of player wages. Some clubs were also left unimpressed by the progress made in the Premier League meeting on Friday. One source with knowledge of the meeting said: “It was four hours of politically doing the right thing. Two hours of discussion and the two hours of wording the statement. But the Premier League had no agreement with the PFA. The clubs were asking the Premier League, ‘Can you enforce a wage deduction, a deferral?’ They said, ‘No we can’t. That’s down to each individual club. It is also down to each individual player’. That meeting was about the Premier League being able to put a statement out at the end to make them look good: now it’s up to the clubs and players.” This also came in a week where players felt the public mood had intentionally been turned onto them by the actions of Premier League owners, most notably Tottenham’s Daniel Levy. Levy’s decision to place non-playing staff on furlough, before agreeing a wage deferral or deduction with players, led to many public attacks on Premier League player’s wages and at a government press conference, Health Minister Matt Hancock told players “to do their part.” Sources say that the actions taken by Levy, as well as Newcastle’s Mike Ashley, have toxified the debate around furlough and alienated players who were ready to help and support non-playing staff where possible. Discussions are expected to resume on Monday.  
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