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Western Sydney Wanderers latest A-League club to stand down players without pay

Western Sydney Wanderers have become the latest A-League club to stand down players without pay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Wanderers squad were notified on Tuesday night that they would not be receiving their monthly salary and were encouraged to take any annual and sick leave that they had accrued.

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"At this point we advise that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic there is no business being operated and there is no revenue stream for the club to be able to pay salaries," club CEO John Tsatsimas wrote to the players, according to ESPN sources.

"Contractual payments will cease from [Tuesday]."

The move follows the same path as both Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners stood down their players and staff without pay. According to AAP, Brisbane Roar players have also been stood down amid concerns a $900,000 quarterly payment to clubs by broadcaster Foxtel will not be made due to the league's suspension amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Adelaide Advertiser says that Adelaide United have also stood down all football operations staff.

"These are unprecedented and extremely difficult times for the sport and our nearly 2 million participants across the country. I ask that we approach our challenges with empathy and engage in open dialogue and meaningful collaboration," FFA CEO James Johnson said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Most people would not have predicted the devastating impact caused by COVID-19 to human health and the economy. The pandemic continues to have a profound impact on our game, just like other industries and business in Australia and around the globe.

"What we must begin to realise is that everything has shifted around us and we now operate in a different landscape to what we were used to. For our game to come through this successfully, we need to approach our current circumstances in a different way."

Western Sydney Wanderers have become the latest A-League club to stand down players without pay.

John Didulica, the Professional Footballers Association CEO, was unmoved in his stance from earlier in the week that the clubs are breaching the contracts of their players and damaging the competition.

"Whether it is one club or all 11 clubs, our position on this will not change," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We will continue to fight for the players who have been dumped and preserve their legal rights, including challenging the stand down notices and, where instructed, seek free agency on the basis of this breach of contract."

Didulica said the players who are struck off potentially face long term unemployment given the uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19.

He described the clubs' actions as short-term opportunism.

"It is entirely unnecessary for club owners to place their players in this situation when there is an alternative option -- which is for the sport to work together -- as we've seen across other mature and sophisticated sports."

Information from AAP was used in this report.

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