The Belgian’s representative believes transfer fees should not be demanded for any player seeing their salary cut
Stijn Francis, the agent of Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, claims any player being asked to take a pay cut during the coronavirus outbreak should be allowed to move on as a free agent.
With competitive football having been shut down indefinitely, clubs around the world have to carefully manage their finances.
Those at the very top of the sporting food chain are also being asked to do their bit to aid the efforts of hard-working heroes working in health services across the planet.
Leading Premier League stars are among those to have got involved, with the ‘Players Together’ fund set up.
Francis, though, believes that any team looking for their players to accept lower salaries during a global pandemic is breaching terms of contract.
For him, transfer fees can no longer be demanded for those who are bringing in less than they were promised when putting pen to paper.
The Belgian, who thrashed out a new deal for Alderweireld at Spurs back in December 2019, told The Guardian: “A ‘regular’ worker is able to leave his or her employer in exchange for limited compensation or a notice period.
“Also the employer can terminate the relationship with the worker at any time by respecting a period of notice or paying compensation.
“If clubs sign a player they take a risk by paying a transfer or signing-on fee and by paying substantial wages.
“In exchange for this risk, players cannot leave the club before the end of the contract except when all involved parties agree otherwise.
“Players also know that during the contractual term they can be sure the club will pay their salary.
“Clubs now asking to reduce player salaries undermine this principle of contractual stability.
“If clubs insist on a wage reduction, players should be put in the same situation as any regular worker.
“Clubs reducing their players’ wages should accept that the players can terminate their employment for free and these clubs should no longer be able to ask a transfer fee if the player would like to leave.
“Clubs should not ask for wage reductions from their players unless it is essential for their survival.
“If clubs are really afraid that they may not survive, it means that these clubs have not been careful and that they should put the players on furlough.
“If this is the case, the players should be able to terminate their contract against limited compensation like regular employees.
“If players nevertheless decide to financially support the clubs through a salary reduction, the reduction should be subject to certain conditions such as no transfer fees being paid until the wage reductions for all involved players have been compensated.”
Tottenham have furloughed their non-playing staff, leading to plenty of criticism for club chairman Daniel Levy, while Liverpool have reversed their decision to take advantage of a government pay scheme.