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UEFA gives European leagues May 25 deadline for restart plans

28 April 2020, 1:04 PM  |  Reuters  | 

European football leagues have been given a May 25 deadline to inform governing body UEFA of their plans to restart their domestic competitions.

Soccer has ground to a halt in all major leagues in Europe and none have yet to resume.

But UEFA is keen to start planning for next season’s European club tournaments.

In a letter to the 55 federations in UEFA, president Aleksander Ceferin wrote that any league cancelling its season would need to produce a list of teams that have qualified for European club competitions, also by May 25.

“National Associations and/or Leagues should be in a position to communicate to UEFA by 25 May 2020 the planned restart of their domestic competitions including the date of restart and the relevant competition format,” Ceferin wrote.

“In the event that a domestic competition is to be prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons… UEFA would require the National Association to explain by 25 May 2020 the special circumstances justifying such premature termination and to select clubs for the UEFA club competitions 2020/21 on the basis of sporting merit in the 2019/20 domestic competitions,” he added.

The sport has been brought to a standstill by the pandemic, with the Euro 2020 competition postponed until next year and both national leagues and continental club competitions on hold.

UEFA has made it clear that it wants its member associations to complete their domestic seasons rather than abandon them. It also hopes to finish the Champions League and Europa League competitions.

While leagues such as the German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and English Premier League say they want to finish their seasons, the Dutch Eredivisie cut short its season on Friday and said there would be no title awarded and no relegations or promotions – a decision strongly criticised by some of the affected clubs.

Players agree to salary cuts due to coronavirus pandemic:

The Australian Football League (AFL), has been forced to agree to pay cuts with the players who would usually be playing in front of huge crowds at this stage of the Australian autumn.

In a deal struck with the union on Friday, the Australian rules players, whose season was stopped after only one round of matches, have agreed to a 50 to 70% reduction in payments depending on how long the suspension continues.

“The players always understood the gravity of the situation and have agreed to take significant pay cuts to ensure we can keep the industry going,” says AFL Gillon McLachlan.

And on Saturday, netball players in the Super Netball league agreed to a two-week holiday from Monday followed by active rest for three weeks at a 70% reduction in pay.

Leverkusen players agree on salary cut 

Bayer Leverkusen players, staff and management on Wednesday unanimously agreed to accept an unspecified pay cut as the Bundesliga remains suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim later followed suit, with club bosses saying success for the small club in recent years had created a cushion and it was now time to give something back.

Hoffenheim are financially supported by billionaire major investor Dietmar Hopp.

Leverkusen captain Lars Bender said discussions had taken place in the last few weeks and on Tuesday they reached an agreement.

The two clubs join several others in the Bundesliga to have agreed pay cuts, including Borussia Moenchengladbach and Schalke 04.

“The (Leverkusen) team is ready to waive part of the salaries in order to support the club in its efforts to financially overcome the corona crisis,” Bender said in a club statement following a makeshift training session where players trained only in pairs.

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