Premier League players are set to start negotiations on a club-by-club basis over proposed wage cuts.
It comes after talks aimed at a collective pay deal in response to the coronavirus crisis broke down without resolution over the weekend.
The row has escalated into one of the most serious disputes between players and clubs in the league’s history.
The government has said it expects the football authorities to “come together with an agreement urgently.”
Writing in Monday’s Telegraph, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden said “the deadlock between the PFA and the Premier League clubs on players’ wage cuts is deeply concerning.”
“Clubs, players and owners should be thinking very carefully about their next steps,” he wrote.
“It’s especially important that a disagreement over players’ wages doesn’t undermine all the good work that sport – including football – is doing to help the government’s efforts to tackle coronavirus.”
On Saturday the Premier League told senior players that a pay cut was required because the clubs faced losses of more than £1bn if the season could not be resumed.
But with players rejecting a league-wide proposal, they are now expected to ask their own clubs to explain more about the specifics of their finances before accepting any cuts or deferrals.
Some clubs are hoping that if executives and coaches accept pay cuts, it could help persuade players – who earn an average of £3.5m a year in the Premier League – to do the same by the end of the week.