Premier League players could be asked to go on strike in support of their lower division colleagues if the EFL attempts to impose a salary cap.
Sunday Mirror Sport understands that industrial action is an option the PFA will consider if Championship, League One and League Two clubs press ahead with plans to put strict wage control measures in place.
That would mean £200,0000-a-week superstars like Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Virgil van Dijk withdrawing their labour alongside players who have to get by on a few thousand pounds a month.
The women’s Super League would also be affected.
A source at a big League One club that would vote against the EFL’s proposal in its current guise said: “The salary cap plan will probably get the green light from clubs because so many of them see it as the best way to limit expenditure.
“That’s understandable. But not all EFL clubs have the same issues.
“If some can afford to pay players more, then they should have the ability to do so.
“There will be opposition over a salary cap from the bigger clubs – but it will probably come down to the players themselves to stop it.
“That means going to the union to protect their interests and the possibility of a strike.”
Players were just three days away from refusing to play in 1960 when the PFA, led by Jimmy Hill, won the battle to have the £20-a-week maximum wage abolished.
Only 18 of 730 professional players voted against the strike proposal.
And 19 years ago, a dispute between the Premier League and PFA over the amount of TV money being paid to the union was eventually resolved when it became clear chief executive Gordon Taylor had the full backing of his members to walk out.
The EFL wants to bring in FFP regulations which will force Championship clubs to spend no more than £19million-a-year on salaries.
In League One and League Two that budget will be £2.5million and £1.5million respectively.
EFL chiefs insist they are trying to safeguard the future of clubs by putting measures into place that will prevent them spending beyond their means.
Bury lost their place in the league last summer when they went bust.
And 2013 FA Cup winners Wigan entered administration last month.
Lower league clubs are facing an uncertain future, with the financial ramifications of the coronavirus crisis looking bleak.
But while the PFA allowed clubs to impose wage deferrals of up to 25 percent during the pandemic, it is unlikely that players will accept long-term salary caps.