Coronavirus: Leeds United players, coaching staff take wage deferral

By Sports Desk March 26, 2020

Leeds United players, coaches and senior officials have taken a voluntary wage deferral to allow the club to continue to pay non-football staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

The spread of COVID-19 has caused massive disruptions across the sporting calendar, with English football on hold at least until April 30.

Experts have suggested such a prolonged and unplanned hiatus could threaten the very existence of smaller clubs across the world, as they are committed to paying football and non-football staff even without matchday revenue.

But some clubs are asking certain high-earning employees to defer their wages or take salary cuts during the interruption.

Leeds are the latest to make such a move, with players and football staff volunteering to defer their wages over the coming months.

A statement read: "Leeds United can confirm that the players, coaching staff and senior management team have volunteered to take a wage deferral for the foreseeable future to ensure that all non-football staff at Elland Road and Thorp Arch [Leeds' training facility] can be paid and the integrity of the business can be maintained during these uncertain times.

"The lack of fixtures, cancellation of events, impact on ancillary revenue and closure of the football financing market will cost the club several million pounds each month.

"Following a regular catch up between chief executive Angus Kinnear, director of football Victor Orta and several senior players, the decision was made by the squad to defer part of their own salaries to ensure that the club can continue to pay all 272 members of full-time staff and the majority of casual staff for the coming months."

Orta praised the players for their collective attitude in such a time of crisis.

"My players have demonstrated an incredible sense of unity and togetherness and I am proud of their actions," he said. "To Marcelo [Bielsa] and his staff and all of the players, we thank them for putting our wider team first and taking care of family.

"Now we must focus on public health, and when the people are safe, finish what we started."

Before English football was suspended, Leeds were top of the Championship with 71 points.

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