Clarke sent a clear message on the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis to the FA council on Tuesday, when he insisted that it was time for game stakeholders to finally agree on the sacrifices needed to “keep the game alive”.
Four weeks after the suspension of the football calendar, and despite continuing talks between the Association of Professional Footballers, the Premier League and the EFL, no agreement has been reached on players who benefit from salary reductions or postponements , or a combination of the two, up to 30%.
The decision of for-profit Premier League clubs such as Tottenham and Liverpool to put non-player staff on leave has also damaged the reputation of the game, although Liverpool have since reversed their decision following much criticism.
The Football Federation announced on Monday that it could suffer losses in excess of £ 150 and that its highest incomes, including English manager Gareth Southgate, had agreed to cut their wages by up to 30%. The organization also puts staff on leave. Clarke, who suffers a 25% pay cut, stressed the dire consequences of professional gaming without a united response.
“Football faces economic challenges that go beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it,” he said. “The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all sectors of activity will suffer.
“We risk losing clubs and leagues because of the financial collapse. Many communities could lose clubs in their hearts with little chance of resurrection. Faced with this unprecedented adversity, all players in the game, players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators, must step up and share the pain to keep the game alive. “
Sunderland and Crewe confirmed on Tuesday that they are on leave from playing or not. The Premier League of Newcastle, Norwich and Bournemouth also sought government assistance during the crisis, Sheffield United also considering making the decision, and Clarke stresses that high-flying clubs are also threatened by the financial crisis which expands.
He added: “Everyone should understand that Premier League clubs are not immune to the impact of this and although they are impacted to varying degrees depending on their cost base, the impact potential global financial is huge.
“We must have a plan to ensure that English football is not decimated if this season is lost and the next season burned. We hope we don’t need this plan as we are all determined to finish the professional football season, but we would be foolish not to develop such an emergency plan. Those who have lost their clubs because English football has not risen to the challenge would rightly judge us severely.
“Time is running out because football is burning its cash reserves without any sign of a resumption of the match. Pointed fingers are useless. It is time for stakeholders to agree on a common cause to save our party. To contribute. Football is a team game and now is the time to work as a team. “
Clarke confirmed that the FA remains committed to ending the season, provided government and medical advice permit. He said: “We are determined to finish the professional football season as this solves the problems of promotion and relegation with the title winners on merit. However, we may not be able to finish the season because football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do what the government orders as the pandemic unfolds. Further down the football pyramid, our leagues have asked that the season be shortened and that the decision be returned to the FA board. “