Football’s governing bodies set for big decisions next week

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Football’s governing bodies will make some “difficult decisions” next week in a bid to deal with the financial impact of coronavirus, while a verdict on whether the British Grand Prix goes ahead could also be imminent.

The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association met on Friday to discuss the economic implications of the suspension of the season.

“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,” said a joint statement.

The pinch is already being felt, with Birmingham asking some players to defer half their pay, while Leeds’ squad have volunteered for a wage deferral.

There will be further talks next week to formulate a joint plan.

Last week the projected restart of the season was put back until April 30, and that date has not changed.

The Scottish PFA has urged clubs to place their players on full pay furlough leave while French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet admitted to L’Equipe that finishing the season by June 30 “seems impossible”.

British Grand Prix 2019 – Race Day – Silverstone
The British Grand Prix is in doubt (Martin Rickett/PA)

Formula One bosses are in the process of putting together a new schedule after the opening eight races were called off.

But their hand could be forced, with the All England Club holding an emergency summit on whether this year’s Wimbledon, which concludes a week before the British Grand Prix, will take place.

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said: “It is not our decision alone.”

The seven UK-based Formula One teams are working on manufacturing ventilators to assist with the treatment of the virus.

Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull, Racing Point, Haas, Renault and Williams are collectively part of ‘Project Pitlane’, seeking to pool their engineering expertise to provide much-needed medical devices.

“F1’s unique ability to rapidly respond to engineering and technological challenges allows the group to add value to the wider engineering industry’s response,” read a statement on the F1 website.

“The seven teams remain ready to support in other areas requiring rapid, innovative technology responses to the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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