Gary Neville warns 'serious problem brewing' for EFL players out of contract in June

Gary Neville fears there is a "serious problem brewing" for players in the English Football League coming towards the end of their contracts.
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA WireSky Sports pundit Gary Neville. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Neville fears that the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic is such that players whose current deals finish at the end of June will struggle to find new clubs.

"There is a serious problem brewing in the next few months. Over 1,000 players in the Championship, League One and League Two are out of contract at the end of June and clubs haven't got the money to recycle them back into the game," Neville told Sky Sports News' Football Show.

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"It's going to be a shock for the whole of football but it will be the players at the lower end of the game who will suffer the most."

The EFL and the Professional Footballers' Association have announced a proposal that League One and League Two clubs defer up to 25 per cent of player wages in April, with players earning less than £2500 a month still being paid in full. Championship clubs are expected to make individual decisions on wage deferrals.

"In the next few months there will have to be player cost reductions. It is an absolute given," said Neville. “What the EFL announced yesterday was the right approach."

Bournemouth, meanwhile, have become the latest Premier League club to reverse their decision to furlough members of their non-playing staff.

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Liverpool and Tottenham have also reversed initial moves to make use of the government scheme, which sees non-working staff paid 80 per cent of their salary.

Currently, Newcastle and Norwich are the only Premier League clubs continuing to place some members of their non-playing staff on furlough.