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The FA to cut 30% pay from top earners

THE FA
The highest-paid staff from the Football Association (FA) will take wage cuts of up to 30 per cent as English football’s governing body manages the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham outlined the cost-saving measures in a message to staff which was also published on the governing body’s website. Gareth Southgate, manager of England’s men’s national team, is reportedly sacrificing UK£225,000 (AU$451,407) over the next three months under the plan.

Bullingham proposed that staff earning more than UK£50,000 (AU$100,312) annually should take a cut of 7.5 per cent.

“In the spirit of those on higher salaries taking the greater responsibility, the senior management team have agreed to cut their pay by 15 per cent with the highest earners in the organisation agreeing to reduce their pay by up to 30 per cent,” Bullingham said.

The FA’s announcement comes after the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), the English players’ union, hit back at British government calls for players to take salary cuts and called for clarity on clubs’ plans for the money saved on wages.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock continued his attacks on football players over the weekend.

“The hospices of this country have traditionally been largely funded by charity and charity shops,” he told ITV News.

“Those shops have had to close so I’m putting more money – taxpayer’s money – into hospices to support them but why don’t our footballers club together and support our hospices and support the national effort that we’re all in?”

Those comments came after Hancock urged top-flight professionals to “take a pay cut and play their part” last week.

On 3rd April, the English Premier League suggested players take a 30 per cent wage cut or deferral, only for the PFA to issue a statement saying such a move could result in a UK£200 million (AU$401 million) tax deficit.

While the PFA insists its members want to make ‘significant financial contributions’, the players’ union warned the government that the Premier League’s suggested 30 per cent cut of an annual remuneration amounts to UK£500 million (AU$1.3 billion), of which around 40 per cent would be contributed to tax.

The PFA joined the Premier League, League Managers Association (LMA) and representatives from all clubs on a conference call on 4th April but nothing was agreed.

Talks will continue this week and PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has implored clubs to give the detailed financial information they had been expecting in order to make sure money goes to the right places.

“I think if they can’t do that and explain the position fully then they have every right to expect players to mistrust what is happening,” he said.

Asked if players were concerned about where the money would go, Taylor said: “Exactly that. They want the complete due diligence. They’re not stupid. They’ve not just got their brains in their feet. They want to know the reasons for it and where it’s going.”

The issue of football players pay has become a hot topic in the UK since top-flight clubs started placing some non-playing staff on the government’s furlough scheme.

Liverpool have become the fifth Premier League club to embrace that framework, but reigning champions Manchester City have confirmed that they will not be furloughing employees at the tax payer’s expense.

Manchester United’s players will donate 30 per cent of one month’s wages to local hospitals and health services in the first major coronavirus gesture from a full Premier League squad.

Chairman Ed Woodward approached captain Harry Maguire with the idea, according to the Daily Mail, and it was given full backing by the players.

United are continuing to pay all match day staff during the crisis and have not sought to use the government’s furlough scheme designed to help struggling companies protect jobs.

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

FIFA and Mexican Football Federation’s Supercopa Femenil to encourage growth in women’s football

FIFA

With the financial support of FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation has launched the FIFA | FMF Supercopa Femenil (Women’s Super Cup) as part of its women’s football development programme.

The five-day U-15 tournament (between 3-7 August) organised in Toluca, provided 206 players across 12 teams from Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Estado de México, Baja California, Chihuahua, as well as a representative team from the United States, with an opportunity to have their talents detected by scouts from both Liga MX, and the Mexican national teams.

FIFA will provide technical support, equipment and funding for two years, as well as education and empowerment through seminars for coaches.

The FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme aims to provide all 211 member associations with the opportunity to apply for, and access additional resources and specialist expertise to develop women’s football at a national level.

Member associations can apply for support across eight key areas of women’s football development during the 2020-2023 period. In addition to financial assistance to cover the costs in selected programmes, the FIFA Women’s Development Programme will also provide access to women’s football experts, additional equipment and technical support within FIFA.

“The Supercopa Femenil was born from the dream of bringing Mexican youth players to a competitive showcase for women’s football in our country, attracting the best academies that are supporting the development of players in this category. This has resulted in a life-changing experience to be scouted by national team staff, and those of Liga MX Femenil teams,” Lucia Mijares, FMF Technical Sports Development Director, said in a statement.

Andrea Rodebaugh, FIFA Women’s Football Consultant, added via FIFA:

“Observing the Supercopa Femenil in Mexico has been inspirational. Its implementation is helping strengthen pathways by showcasing talent, motivating players and coaches as well as sharing knowledge and unique experiences so that growth continues where needed. There is so much talent, potential and support from everyone in the FMF. I am very optimistic for the future.”

Karl Dodd, FIFA Women’s Football Expert, stated via FIFA:

“The Supercopa has been well organised and provides a great opportunity for players to gain experience playing against top teams in their age group. It also enables scouts to watch these players, and for coaches to undertake development workshops to further improve the positive impact they have on players, supporting their personal and professional development.”

EA Sports to be the title sponsor for all LaLiga competitions

EA Sports & LaLiga

Beginning from the 2023-24 season onwards, a new multi-year agreement between EA Sports and LaLiga will pave the way for new experiences, deeper in-game integrations, enhanced broadcast communications, and commitment to grassroots initiatives.

The one-of-a-kind, multi-year partnership will allow both parties to deliver groundbreaking experiences for global football fans, with EA SPORTS FC securing title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions.

In addition, the deal will see a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.

This new partnership will encompass the first and second divisions of LaLiga (Spain’s top professional football competitions), LaLiga Promises (the league’s annual youth tournament) and eLaLiga.

“EA Sports FC is committed to delivering the most authentic and immersive experiences in global football. Our innovative new partnership with LaLiga further elevates that ambition and solidifies both organizations’ position at the centre of football culture,” David Jackson, VP Brand, EA Sports FC, said in a statement.

“The visible reach and scale of this partnership is deeply exciting, as is the opportunity to deliver incredible experiences for fans through in-game innovation, interactive entertainment and grassroots initiatives.

“EA Sports represents the cutting edge of interactive football experiences while LaLiga is at the forefront of actual football competitions with unmatched in-person, broadcast and digital fan experiences,” said Javier Tebas, President, LaLiga. “We have been strategic partners with EA Sports for years and this expanded agreement is a commitment to providing the next level of innovation to all football fans, a fusion between the virtual and real worlds of football.”

With this partnership, EA Sports and LaLiga will deepen their collaboration. Both LaLiga and EA Sports are committed to grassroots initiatives to grow the game which will include increasing accessibility, upgrading facilities, and many more initiatives to truly immerse fans into the world of football.

“This partnership with EA Sports is set to truly transform the way football is enjoyed around the world,” LaLiga Executive Director Óscar Mayo said via EA Sports.

“Moreover the alliance demonstrates LaLiga is a global brand, evidence of the success of our league to connect with fans internationally.

“We’re thrilled to partner with a worldwide leader in football fandom to better connect our fans to their favourite clubs, players, and LaLiga competitions,” said Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM, EA Sports FC. “The contributions from LaLiga to our EA Sports FC portfolio will be immense, not only from a visual aspect, but across technological and game development improvements, further blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds of football.”

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