The agent of Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, Stijn Francis, says Premier League stars should be allowed to leave their clubs for nothing if their salaries are cut.

Football in England and across much of the planet has been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And with Premier League clubs facing a cash crisis - potentially to the tune of over £1billion if they’re unable to finish the season, according to the league - top stars have come under pressure to take pay cuts.

Top-flight players, led by Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson, confirmed they have set up their "Players Together" charity fund on Wednesday night - set up and organised by the PFA supported by the Premier League and the 20 club captains.

But a number of clubs across Europe - including Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich - Most clubs in Europe have asked players to accept a substantial wage reduction.

A number of non-playing staff at clubs, including at Newcastle and Alderweireld’s employers, Tottenham, have been placed on furlough.

Jordan Henderson led the Player's Together initiative

Now Francis - who played in the Belgian leagues before becoming an agent and also represents a number of other high-profile clients, including Napoli's Dries Mertes - believes that clubs’ asking players take cuts is problematic for employers.

“A “regular” worker is able to leave his or her employer in exchange for limited compensation or a notice period,” declares Francis, writing in a column for The Guardian.

Alderweireld's agent says players rights should be "put in the same situation as any regular worker"

“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.

Read More

Coronavirus in sport

“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.”