GARY NEVILLE warned the EFL faces an economic ‘horror story’.
SunSport understands 15 hard-up clubs — three in League One and 12 in League Two — do NOT want to finish the season due to cash problems.
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That figure is rising as many owners fear they cannot pay wages if the campaign restarts in June.
Neville, co-owner of League Two Salford, says hundreds of players could end up out of a job.
The Manchester United legend said: “There is a horror story coming for many clubs if there aren’t reductions in costs.
“Over 1,000 players in the Championship and Leagues One and Two are out of contract in ten weeks.
“In League One and Two, 50 per cent of players are out of contract.
“That’s scary and clubs have not got the money to recycle them back into the game next season.
“Clubs aren’t going to sign players and offer deals they did before.
“We’re not talking about £200k-a-week players — that’s the one per cent of players in the world.
“We’re talking players on modest wages who’d face a real problem if their income stopped in June.”
Neville, who took over Salford with some of his fellow Class of 92 pals in 2014, believes many players will quit in the aftermath of coronavirus.
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He told Sky Sports: “It’s an inevitability. Players at the top will get top wages, the players below that will accept less money.
“Players who might be on a few hundred pounds a week are the ones who will suffer.
“It will just cascade down and shock the whole of football.
“In the next few months at many clubs there will be player-cost reductions — that’s just a given.
“People will say it needs to happen and is a correction that’s been coming.
“But, ultimately, it will be players at the lower end who suffer most — the ones who have never earned £1,000 a week.”
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EFL chairman Rick Parry had a plan to rush through the remaining matches in a 56-day period and finish in August.
But an EFL chairman told SunSport: “I do not want to waste money on meaningless matches and cut into next season’s budget.
“We’ll have to train for weeks before we could play and there is simply not enough cash coming in to cover that.”