The EFL is to consider preventing clubs who defer the wages of their players from spending money in the transfer market.
In a move to be discussed between the league and its clubs this week, the proposal would necessitate that any money owed to playing staff be paid before a club could add to their squad or increase the collective wage bill.
The idea for a new mechanism, whose details remain uncertain, is one of a number of proposals to be discussed as attempts are made to stave off crisis in the face of coronavirus. A broad range of ideas, up to the possibility of a wage cap, will be under consideration.
The concept of an embargo originated with the Professional Footballers’ Association, which gives it a good chance of succeeding. A reluctance on the part of the players’ union to countenance pay reductions has been one reason behind the gridlock.
The fact that players need a guarantee their clubs would not spend deferred wages elsewhere is one sign of the low levels of trust between the sides as negotiations over player pay remain unresolved at all levels of the professional game.
Last week a one-month arrangement for deferring wages in Leagues One and Two was agreed, postponing a payday crisis for the month of April. This did not apply in the Championship, where negotiations have been conducted on a club-by-club basis, with some who have agreed to continue paying players in full now anxious that rivals who have deferred wages do not gain a competitive advantage when football finally returns.
It is understood that the PFA’s suggestion of an embargo has not been taken up by the Premier League.