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2019 10 14 Retrieve

[PFA proud of England’s restraint in ‘extreme circumstances’] This evening, during England’s European Championship qualifier against Bulgaria, the game was temporarily halted as part of UEFA’s anti-racism protocol, after racist chanting from some Bulgarian fans. Like everyone watching, the PFA was disgusted by the racist abuse and visible provocation by a section of Bulgarian fans, 50 of whom were rightly ejected from the venue at half time. We offer our support to England’s players, who showed restraint while dealing with such extreme circumstances. We also commend Gareth Southgate and his staff for their decisive action in initiating UEFA’s protocol. Once again, Southgate’s England team has shown leadership regarding this issue.

No one should have to suffer racist abuse at their place of work. It is right that action is taken to support those affected and make it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated. The game in Sofia was already being played to a reduced crowd as a consequence of previous racist abuse by Bulgarian fans. This was obviously not sufficient action to deal with the issue. Given the circumstances surrounding tonight’s game, the strongest action must now be taken by UEFA to ensure a clear message of zero tolerance

2019 10 29 Retrieve

[PFA calls for UEFA disciplinary overhaul and tougher sanctions for racist abuse] The PFA is disappointed at the sanctions announced today, levied by UEFA towards Bulgaria in the wake of the disgraceful racist incidents witnessed two weeks ago. While the sanctions are in line with current UEFA disciplinary guidelines, this only serves to highlight that these guidelines need to be overhauled and far stronger deterrents imposed - not ruling out expulsions from competitions. Only then can the issue of racism be seriously confronted.

In addition, there is currently no BAME representation on UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Committee. This lack of diversity, we believe, will influence the way in which racist incidents are dealt with by the panel. Diversity on the pitch must be reflected at every level of the game, not just on the field of play

2019 12 22 Retrieve

[PFA has called for the UK government to investigate racism in football] Racism has no place in football or society. It is deeply disappointing that some fans continue to display vulgar racist gestures and chants from the stands. It has become clear that football players are on the receiving end of the blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK, but they are not alone. The PFA stands beside every player who faces discrimination. We will continue to fight on their behalf to combat this issue for good.

Football is part of the fabric of British society. With the huge global audience that English football attracts, we have a responsibility to lead the way with a zero-tolerance policy. Racist abuse in football is not just an issue for black and ethnic minority players, it is an issue for everyone who loves the game. Whilst the protocols in place ensured stadium announcements were executed today, we need to ensure the perpetrators are identified and dealt with according to the law. We believe that the time has come for all governing bodies to unite collectively to end this abuse.

The PFA calls for a government enquiry into racism and the rise in hate crime within football and immediate and urgent action from an All-Party Group at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to address this urgent issue

2020 03 25 Retrieve

[PFA calls for emergency meeting over financial impact of coronavirus on Premier League and Football League clubs] The PFA has called for an urgent meeting with both the Premier League and English Football League to discuss the impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on the finances of both clubs and players. As with other industries, the current COVID-19 crisis is having a severe impact on the finances of the game. Several clubs have already approached players with a view to imposing pay deferrals. In order to deal with this situation, we have called for an urgent meeting with both the Premier League and the EFL to discuss how we might proceed going forward

Separately, we have worked closely with the Premier League, EFL and WSL, agreeing on protocols in terms of training regimes and timetables for suspension of group training. We are also in regular discussions at international level regarding areas relating to contractual stability and the eventual resumption of the leagues. In these difficult times, there is a strong public consensus for football to be seen as acting in solidarity with other workers and industries affected by the crisis

2020 03 27 Retrieve

[Premier League, EFL and PFA face ‘difficult decisions’ as leagues won’t return until April 30 at the earliest] The Premier League, EFL and PFA met today and discussed the growing seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was stressed that the thoughts of all three organisations continue to be with everyone affected by the virus. The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions. The leagues will not recommence until April 30 at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow. Further meetings will take place next week with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their clubs, players, staff and fans

2020 04 02 Retrieve

[The intention to complete the season] The meeting (on Wednesday) reiterated that the overriding priority is the health and well-being of the nation - including that of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters – and everyone agreed football must only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. No decisions were taken today with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019-20 season

2020 04 02b Retrieve

[PFA and the Premier League are currently in discussions about player wages] Senior representatives from the PFA, Premier League, EFL and LMA met today and shared a constructive meeting regarding the challenges facing the game as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting reiterated that the overriding priority is the health and well-being of the nation - including that of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters – and everyone agreed football must only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. No decisions were taken today with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019-20 season

2020 04 02b Retrieve

[PFA defends response to coronavirus crisis as government criticises Premier League stars] I think everybody needs to play their part in this national effort and that means Premier League footballers too.

Football, of course, faces its own challenges. As this is an ever-moving situation, our staff are working tirelessly behind the scenes on this unprecedented crisis to address the needs of the players, while considering the clubs and the wider industry.

Our initial response to the outbreak was to focus solely on the health and safety of players, club staff and the fans. We circulated advice and recommendations to all players and clubs regarding best practice at the training ground, and as the outbreak progressed, we then voiced the player’s concerns to the leagues which resulted in training being suspended at all clubs.

We wanted to ensure the necessary steps were taken to ensure football was taking responsibility to do its part in reducing the potential for spreading the virus. It was quickly obvious that the wider implications of the pandemic were more important than football.

Understandably, with the season subsequently on hiatus, the players’ and clubs’ financial positions then became a priority issue.

Contrary to some press reports the PFA has never stated that it will block all wage deferrals. What we have sought to put in place is a structured and unified approach to ensure a fair response across the leagues.

Each club’s financial standing will vary. We are aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff’s salaries. However, our current position is that - as businesses - if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should.

The players we have spoken recognise that the non-playing staff are a vital part of their club and they do not want to see club staff furloughed unfairly. Any use of the government’s support schemes without genuine financial need is detrimental to the wider society.

In instances where clubs have the resources to pay all staff, the benefit of players paying non-playing staff salaries will only serve the business of the club’s shareholders.

We fully accept that players will have to be flexible and share the financial burden of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to secure the long-term future of their own club and indeed the wider game. Our advice going out to players at this point reflects that expectation.

In addition, the PFA is also expecting to contribute financially to any solutions agreed upon. We are hoping to reach an agreement with the Premier League and EFL that secures the long-term future of the clubs and protects players.

2020 04 04 Retrieve

[The Professional Footballers’ Association has advised against blanket reductions] The players are mindful that as PAYE [pay as you earn] 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 30 per cent salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other government-funded services. The proposed 30 per cent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government. What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for 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? We welcomed the opportunity to discuss this with the Premier League today and we are happy to continue talks

2020 04 04b Retrieve

[Coronavirus: PFA questions merits of Premier League stars taking 30% pay cut] £20m is welcome, but we believe it could be far bigger. The EFL money is an advance. Importantly, it will aid cashflow in the immediate, but football needs to find a way to increase funding to the EFL and non-league clubs in the long-term. Many clubs require an increase in funding just to survive. We believe in our football pyramid and again stress the need for solidarity between all clubs. Going forward, we are working together to find a solution which will be continually reviewed in order to assess the circumstance of the Covid-19 crisis

2020 04 05 Retrieve

[The pay proposals, revealed at the Premier League stakeholders’ meeting on Friday, will be discussed by clubs over the coming days, with the PFA hoping a collective agreement can be reached this week] all Premier League players want to, and will, play their part in making significant financial contributions in these unprecedented times

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 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our NHS and other 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 the government. What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did [UK health secretary] Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?

It is our priority to finalise the precise details of our commitment as soon as possible. However, to achieve a collective position for all Premier League players – of which there are many different financial and contractual circumstances from club-to-club – will take a bit more time

The PFA Charity has also agreed to make a substantial contribution to a player-led initiative once the details are finalised. There should be no doubting the players and captains are committed to achieving this as soon as possible. They recognise their role in wider society and what they need to do, as a group, to help and support others

2020 05 12 Retrieve

[Police investigating teenager after Arsenal legend Wright receives vile racist abuse on Instagram] We are disgusted to see the racist abuse aimed at Ian Wright and Gabriel Agbonlahor and their families today. At any time, this is abhorrent behaviour, but when people should be coming together more than ever, it is particularly disturbing. It is unacceptable for social networks to allow instances like this to go on. With the technology and expertise at their disposal, there simply must be a way to prevent abuse like this from being sent. Anything less than that is not good enough

2020 07 13 Retrieve

[PFA calls for better regulation of social media] The posts sent to @wilfriedzaha ahead of today’s game were sickening and abhorrent. Players continue to be the target of relentless abuse online. Incidents, such as this, only strengthen the case for tighter regulation of social media companies. We call on the authorities to accelerate the process of appointing Ofcom as the regulator to oversee the Online Harms legislation