Non-league captains have responded to “concerning” changes to player contracts, stipulating a reduced wage in the event of a significant injury by the National League.
The plan is that from next season, players will receive a full wage for 12 weeks only if they have a major period on the sidelines for those in the premier division, while this drops to six weeks for players beneath it.
Gateshead’s Greg Olley, among the other National League captains, have followed the PFA in appealing against the proposed changes, which many argue weakens the existing regulations.
A joint-statement read: “As a collective we are writing to you on behalf of all National League players who are shocked and frustrated at the significant changes which are being proposed to the standard non-league contract.
“If implemented, these changes will have a serious and negative impact on the rights of players, particularly those who suffer injuries and illness.”
The statement goes on to suggest the players were not involved in the decision-making process, while it was the PFA themselves who informed the players of the proposed changes rather than The FA, or the National League, or even their football clubs.
“These changes give clubs the option of terminating a player’s contract or reducing their income to statutory sick pay in the event of an injury or illness,” the statement continued.
“This makes an already unstable job even more unstable, to the point where for many it will be untenable. These changes put players under significant stress, knowing that we are always at risk from losing our income and being unable to work.”
The players are hoping for urgent talks with the authorities responsible – The FA and the National League – for a swift and “acceptable resolution.”