AFC Fylde chairman David Haythornthwaite has called on players to take pay cuts as clubs across the country face uncertain financial futures.
Football has been suspended at all levels in the United Kingdom due to the coronavirus pandemic with uncertainty about when it will start again.
Several clubs have already had to make tough decisions with Barnet making all non-playing staff redundant.
Others have also asked staff members to take a pay cut to get through this difficult time.
Mr Haythornthwaite, who’s side plays in the National League, thinks players also need to take their share of the burden.
He told talkSPORT: “The FA and all of us as club chairmen should stand together and say ‘look if we work together the players have to take this pay cut’.
“It’s the players now who are going to have to contribute just as much as the ground staff and take their share of the pain. Nobody seems to be talking about that and that’s because players are in a pretty unique position as a lot of them are on two or three year contracts and technically it is very difficult to ask them to take a pay cut.
“I really think we should be taking a lead and everybody should be taking this pain together.
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“We also at our club and other clubs in our league can also take pay cuts. Just to give you an idea, and to be very open with you and everyone who is listening, our wage bill is around £1million-a-year at our level. We are probably a mid-table ranking from the point of view of wages in our league.
“There will certainly be clubs who have a £2million wage bill. Hard to believe really at this level.
“Our top earner is on £900-a-week as a basic salary. In this situation, nobody needs to be on £900-a-week.
“Particularly in a situation where lots and lots of other people are being asked to take significant, I’m talking 50 or 60 per cent pay cuts, to get us through this difficult period. I think we need to look at how we can find a way, collectively, to talk to the footballers and get them to take and share this pain without themselves having the threat of their contracts being put in front of us.”
Mr Haythornthwaite echoed the sentiment of talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan who believes footballers at the top end of the game should see a reduction in their salary to help the lower levels.
Jordan told talkSPORT: “I would also mandate the Premier League to reduce its salaries for 20 per cent for all the clubs in the Premier League which would generate about £160million.
“The average wage in the Premier League is £70,000-a-week. If you asked the average Premier League player to have a reduction of 20 per cent over 90 days you would then generate another £170million out of the Premier League.
“If you did the initiatives I’m talking about for the Championship, League One and League Two you would generate another £70million.
“If you then got the PFA to pony up the £30million that they do not need to be given by the broadcasters then you would have a £300million fighting fund. That’s the football family being a football family.”
Simon Jordan says Premier League players should reduce salaries
Former Premier League striker Darren Bent argued that, although a good idea, those players will have budgeted their money and could leave some families in a tough situation.
Bent told talkSPORT: “Footballers do earn a lot of money but obviously with what they earn they spend a lot as well in their means and the way they live.
“If you look at financial situations, mortgages and things like that, if you have a contract for five years and you move to a new club and it’s your biggest contract, say it’s £60,000-a-week, and you go ‘right I’m here for five years, I’m going to budget my mortgage, so by the time I finish my contract, worst comes to the worst, and I don’t play again after that or my money drops, I’m going to make sure that’s paid off’.
“That’s what cripples a lot of footballers (when it isn’t paid off).
“Then if someone says to you then you need to take a 25 per cent cut in theory it sounds brilliant and would help everybody and the lower clubs but where does that leave that person and their family?”