The League Managers Association (LMA) says its members are aware of the financial gravity of the situation the coronavirus shutdown has posed.
They've been involved in discussions this week with the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) about potential pay cuts or wage deferrals while the game continues to hibernate.
The LMA say they have "made significant progress, on a club by club basis, in negotiating individual contractual and salary arrangements with managers, including furloughs, cuts and deferrals."
On Thursday night, a lengthy PFA statement requested that their members contact the union first before agreeing to pay cuts or deferrals.
The LMA highlight the precarious nature of such conversations, saying, "it is clear that the financial circumstances of individual clubs varies widely both across and within the leagues, and that the pandemic is impacting different clubs in many different and unique ways."
Their statement reads:
The League Managers Association fully recognises the serious and concerning times that we are all experiencing at present. A crisis of this magnitude is a massive test for us all and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by COVID-19. The LMA continues to take our responsibility to our members and the game very seriously, with our primary focus being the health and wellbeing of our members and everyone in the football family.
The LMA understands the pressures that many clubs are under as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The LMA legal team is in constant dialogue with our members on an individual basis, providing bespoke legal advice and support, as clubs explore their options in relation to the employment of their staff. From our discussions with our members, it is clear that the financial circumstances of individual clubs varies widely both across and within the leagues, and that the pandemic is impacting different clubs in many different and unique ways.
The vast majority of clubs, particularly in the EFL, are already utilising the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, furloughing staff where there is no work available. The approach has varied from club to club with some clubs placing all staff on furlough, and others excluding key personnel such as managers, club doctors and physios, allowing them to continue working remotely with players so that they are ready to play once it is deemed safe for football to resume. In some clubs, where staff have not been furloughed, they have already agreed pay cuts or agreed to defer part of their salaries.
Our individual members are all acutely aware of the challenges the game faces, and the need for everyone to play their part in limiting the impact this situation will have on the future of the game and the viability of individual clubs. There is no standard contract system for managers and coaches in the game, but across our membership there has been significant progress, on a club by club basis, in negotiating individual contractual and salary arrangements with managers, including furloughs, cuts and deferrals. In the main, clubs have engaged with discussions and negotiations professionally and pragmatically. Through their proactive approach and by the numerous instances of managers engaging in local, national and international community and charity initiatives, our members continue to demonstrate their commitment to their clubs and to their communities as a whole.
The LMA is in regular communication with all of the games’ stakeholders - The FA, Premier League, EFL, Women’s Professional Game and PFA – and has been part of all of the recent game-wide meetings. We will continue to act positively and proactively, supporting our members and working towards a positive future for the game.