On Friday, the Premier League announced that the 2019-20 season will only return when it is "safe and appropriate to do so," in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The league does not plan to resume play at the beginning of May.
"The Premier League's overriding priority is to aid the health and wellbeing of the nation and our communities," the Premier League said in a statement. "... It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so."
The statement also revealed that Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to confer with their players regarding a "combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 percent of total annual remuneration." This aspect will also be under "constant review" as the circumstances in the affected countries change.
However, the players ultimately rejected that proposal, with the Professional Footballers' Association arguing that the loss in wages would be detrimental to the tax payer-funded healthcare system the country has. The union estimates that would lose out on more than 200 million pounds (around $245 million) in tax dollars, according to the Associated Press.
"The players are mindful that ... the combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services - which are especially critical at this time," the PFA said in a statement. "Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer (treasury) substantial sums."
"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?"
The restart date remains "under constant review" as the coronavirus outbreak develops throughout the world. The Premier League is working with the government, public agencies, and stakeholders to "ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution."
Any return to the field would be with the "full support of the government and when medical guidance allows." The Premier League's main objective is for all remaining league and cup matches to be played, but are concerned about the well-being of all parties involved.