West Ham's players have agreed to defer a percentage of their wages during the coronavirus pandemic.

Co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold and their fellow shareholders are also investing £30million into the club, it emerged on Friday.

The Premier League outfit announced the short-term cost-reducing measures to allow them to cope with paying non-playing staff in the absence of first-team matches.

West Ham last played in a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on March 7, with the season since suspended indefinitely.

The Hammers sit 16th, out of the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Manager David Moyes and vice-chairman Karren Brady are among senior figures who have taken a 30 per cent pay reduction, the club said in a statement.

"The savings created by the measures... will support the entire infrastructure of the club and enable us to retain jobs and continue to pay 100 per cent of staff salaries," the statement read.

Brady said: "I would like to say a big thank you to David Moyes and his backroom team, our captain Mark Noble and our fantastic squad of players for the commitment and determination they have shown to offer their help and support."

Captain Mark Noble said: "At West Ham United, we are one team and our priority reflects the club's aim to help ensure the staff get 100 per cent of their salaries while we are unable to play our matches.

"We continue to do all we can, collectively and individually, throughout this period for the benefit of those around us, our colleagues, our supporters and our community."

Other Premier League clubs - including Tottenham and Newcastle United - have been criticised for furloughing non-playing staff while their first-team stars continue to earn huge wages.

Liverpool also announced an intention to use the UK government's furlough scheme - paying 80 per cent of wages up to £2,500 a month - before backtracking on that decision.

Premier League stars, reportedly led by Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, launched their #PlayersTogether charity fund this week, working with NHS Charities Together.

Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish has tested positive for coronavirus, the Premier League club announced on Friday.

The Reds issued a statement provided by Dalglish's family, explaining the 69-year-old former Scotland international was in hospital regarding a different matter on Wednesday but was given a COVID-19 test.

"Sir Kenny was admitted to hospital on Wednesday, April 8, for treatment of an infection which required intravenous antibiotics," the statement read.

"In keeping with current procedures, he was subsequently tested for COVID-19 despite having previously displayed no symptoms of the illness. Unexpectedly, the test result was positive but he remains asymptomatic.

"Prior to his admission to hospital, Sir Kenny had chosen to voluntarily self-isolate for longer than the advised period together with his family. He would urge everyone to follow the relevant government and expert guidance in the days and weeks ahead.

"He would like to take this opportunity to thank the brilliant NHS staff, whose dedication, bravery and sacrifice should be the focus of the nation's attention at this extraordinary time.

"He would also ask that they are given the space to do their jobs during what is an extremely challenging time for them and that his own family's privacy is respected.

"He looks forward to being home soon. We will provide further updates as and when it is appropriate."

Dalglish is widely recognised as Liverpool's finest player. He joined the club from Celtic, where he had also enjoyed great success, in 1977, and went on to win six league titles as a player with the Reds, including one as player-manager in the 1985-86 double-winning season.

He also won three European Cups as a player with Liverpool, thriving under bosses Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan before taking the reins himself.

His first spell as manager ended in February 1991 and took in the Hillsborough disaster, when his leadership and his compassion towards the bereaved in the aftermath showed Dalglish at his best off the pitch.

Dalglish led Liverpool to their most recent English league title in the 1989-90 season, before managing Blackburn Rovers to Premier League glory in 1994-95.

He later took charge at Newcastle United, before a second spell as Liverpool manager followed, Dalglish in command at Anfield from January 2011 until May 2012.

Leonardo Spinazzola has revealed he found inspiration in his failed January move to Inter and accusations he is "injury-prone".

The Roma full-back had appeared set to join Inter earlier this year in a swap deal with Matteo Politano.

However, the transfer collapsed, reportedly due to concerns regarding Spinazzola's fitness.

The former Juventus man addressed the issue on Friday and, with 15 league appearances this season, explained how he was hurt by the claims.

Spinazzola suggested he had been motivated since January as a result.

"To label a player who is playing, like me, as 'injury-prone' or 'lame' is not a good thing," he said while speaking to fans on Roma's Instagram page.

 

"Since that week, I have changed mentally. In the previous six months, I was down, and that's not like me. But after that week, I found myself."

Serie A has been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, but Spinazzola has been pleased with the way Roma have dealt with the crisis.

"I am honoured to be part of this club," he said. "I knew it was a great club already, but this month has proved it even more. Not everyone has behaved like this."

Renault have taken up the option to furlough the "vast majority" of staff at their Enstone site amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Formula One season is yet to begin after the start date was repeatedly pushed back by the global COVID-19 crisis.

As things stand, the French Grand Prix will get the campaign under way in June, with nine prior events having been postponed. However, motorsports chief Ross Brawn is confident of a 19-race season if F1 gets up and running by July.

Given the delay, Renault have announced their plans for the coming weeks.

For workers at Enstone, the team have applied to use the United Kingdom government's Job Retention Scheme, which pays 80 per cent of wages for furloughed staff up to £2,500, until May 31.

"This will be reviewed dependent on the development of the situation," a statement read.

"It was also agreed to top-up the amount allocated by the government to guarantee a minimum of 80 per cent of the actual salary for all team members.

"Salaries of active staff, including management, will be reduced in the same proportions."

Renault also operate a French site at Viry-Chatillon, where they will switch to a part-time schedule for a provisional period of 12 weeks.

Managing director Cyril Abiteboul said: "The very difficult human and sanitary circumstances that we are experiencing and the strict lockdown in France and England, as well as in most of the grand prix-organising countries, do not yet allow us to measure the impact on our sport.

"We therefore must use all the measures at our disposal to get through this prolonged period of uncertainty and inactivity as best as we can, while protecting the whole team we have built over the past four years."

Chad le Clos should have been cleaning up at Olympic trials this week but instead he's been consigned to washing the dishes after being schooled by his dad at poker.

Le Clos had been expecting a double celebration this weekend after competing in the South African National Swimming Championships in Durban.

South Africa's most decorated Olympian turns 28 on Sunday and will still celebrate with the family, but the usual post-Olympics party will have to wait until next year after the Tokyo Games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Le Clos has been in lockdown for a fortnight following a sharp exit from his Turkish training base, where he had relocated after being forced to leave a camp in Italy amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Durban native is optimistic he can strike gold in Japan if he plays his cards right, but revealed it is his charismatic father Bert - who became a poolside star at London 2012 after his son was crowned 200-metre butterfly champion - who has been holding all the aces during isolation.

Asked how he has been spending his time in quarantine, Le Clos told Stats Perform: "Me and my dad made a nice cooking video, and I've been hanging outdoors quite a lot. 

"We are playing a lot of poker, a crazy amount of poker. My dad is a really good player, me and my brother have been playing about five or six years. We've been playing every night to pass the time.

"We are playing for things like doing the dishes, breakfast in the morning, pancakes. I've been doing all the dishes, I've been so bad!"

Le Clos is philosophical about the Olympics being put back 12 months as he deals with the hand he has been given and revealed it is not only his schedule that will need to be altered as he sets his sights on being the ace in the pack in Tokyo.

He added: "It's crazy to think how things have changed, I should have been competing and I'm in lockdown.

"It's my birthday this weekend, so there would have been an extra celebration but it's all good.

"My family had all these Tokyo 2020 Le Clos supporter t-shirts made that they were going to come round to the party in, so we have to change that to 2021!"

Mario Andretti is confident every effort will be made to save as much of the Formula One schedule as possible and would not be against races behind closed doors.

Nine of the initially planned 22 races in 2020 have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the season now set to get underway with the French Grand Prix in June.

F1 motorsports chief Ross Brawn said this week he still believes 19 races could be held if the schedule begins in July.

Andretti, the 1978 F1 champion, has been impressed by the positive outlook and believes initially racing without fans and condensing the weekend to two days would help ensure fewer grands prix are cancelled.

He told Stats Perform: "I think every effort will be made to try to maximise the season. 

"I think the key factor will be when the Formula One, IndyCar, any of the major racing series will be able to begin. I think once they start, we should be able to probably be very aggressive and just fill the airwaves with a lot of activity. 

"Obviously, you know there's nothing like smelling the race cars go by and feeling being that close. But again, all these races are televised worldwide, that's where the big audience is. Even if the first couple races – I hope not – have to be run with no spectators, so be it. At least we get this thing going. 

"And then I'm sure that from there we just hope that, all of a sudden, things will open up. The trick for now is to find a way to open the season – that's the key factor here. Everybody's chomping at the bit here. 

"From a Formula One standpoint, which is basically what I can read and find from Ross Brawn and so forth, they're all remaining very positive. 

"We have a job to do here and we're just waiting for an opening so we can get started, and once we get started, they're even talking about potentially going into next year to complete as many races as possible. I think the objective is to have at least 15 races but probably even more. 

"Maybe condense the weekend to a two-day weekend, I think that would make sense obviously because they will be moving in different continents very quickly. 

"Again, there are just ways of doing things and making things happen. I think the mindset is there and from where I stand, the standpoint of a fan and very much part of the family here, I just love to see that type of positive thinking." 

A collective of United Kingdom-based F1 teams have been assisting the government with ventilator production in response to the COVID-19 crisis, with Mercedes engineers helping to design a new breathing aide that has been made freely available to fight the outbreak.

"It's very commendable seeing what Mercedes has been doing on respirators and so forth, which is high technology," said Andretti.

"To be able to contribute like that is commendable in every possible way. Motorsports have always done... everything they're doing is to be able to help arrive at some solutions here. The contribution is immense."

Former Leeds United defender Norman Hunter is in hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19, the Championship club have confirmed.

The 76-year-old was admitted after testing positive for coronavirus, according to a club statement released on Friday.

"We can confirm that Leeds United and England legend Norman Hunter is being treated in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19," the statement read.

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public and the media to respect the wishes of Norman and his family and to give them the space they need during this difficult time.

"Keep battling Norman, we are all with you."

Hunter spent 14 years with Leeds, winning two league titles, an EFL Cup and reaching the European Cup final in 1975, where they lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich.

He then played for Bristol City and Barnsley, where he finished his career in 1982.

Known for his combative style of play, Hunter won 28 caps for England and was part of the World Cup-winning squad of 1966.

He had spells as Barnsley manager from 1980-84 and Rotherham United from 1985-87.

Just under a month ago, sports in the United States were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA was the first American professional sports league to make the decision on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The following day MLB and the NHL announced they would also be postponing games. The leagues have been in a holding pattern ever since, as the virus has claimed more than 16,000 lives in America.

The first updates given from MLB, the NBA and NHL was that their potential return dates would simply be pushed back even further. But this week, some leagues have been a bit more open about when and how games could possibly resume. 

This past Saturday, United States president Donald Trump met by phone with the commissioners of America's major sports to discuss the impact on their leagues. "I want fans back in the arenas," he said later in a White House briefing. "I think it's … whenever we're ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports."

While Trump is optimistic about US sports returning soon, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman do not share the same rosy outlook. Silver said on Monday the NBA would not be able to make any decisions about possibly completing the 2019-20 season until May. 

"Essentially, what I've told my folks over the last week is that we just should just accept that, at least for the month of April, we won't be in a position to make any decisions," Silver said in a conversation on the NBA's Twitter account. "And I don't think that necessarily means on May 1 we will be."

Silver said the league is looking at several different scenarios for completing the season, determining if games would be played in NBA arenas or practice facilities, and if the regular season would be completed or if the playoffs would begin immediately. He admitted, though, that making any concrete plans right now is pointless.

"Sitting here today, I know less than I did then [when the league was postponed last month]," he said. 

On Tuesday, Bettman acknowledged for the first time that completing the NHL regular season might not happen. 

"We understand that that may not be possible and that's why we're considering every conceivable alternative to deal with whatever the eventuality is," he told NBC Sports. 

The Stanley Cup playoffs were scheduled to begin on Wednesday, but it could be months before teams get back on the ice. Bettman also said the NHL is looking into playing games at neutral sites if teams are unable to play in their home markets due to the number of cases of the coronavirus there. Like Silver, Bettman stressed that nothing is finalised with so many unknowns with the pandemic.

"Nothing's been ruled in, nothing's been ruled out," he said. 

While neither the NBA nor NHL have put a timeline on a potential return, a report on Monday said MLB was aiming for a possible start to the season in May. According to ESPN, MLB and the players' association proposed having all 30 teams playing games in Arizona in empty spring training stadiums at the Diamondbacks' Chase Field. The players and coaches would be isolated in hotels, only travelling to and from the ballparks. A day later, though, MLB refuted that report, insisting that no plans have been decided on how the season will begin. 

"While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan," the league said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The NFL regular season is still months away from kicking off, but there are still plenty of concerns about if it will start on time. Leading up to the start of the season there is training camp, offseason workout programs and the draft. The draft will go on as scheduled on April 23-25, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Monday, though in a much different format than it was originally conceptualised on a stage constructed in front of fountains at a lavish Las Vegas hotel.

Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams saying the draft will take place in a fully virtual format, as club personnel will be sequestered in their own homes, communicating with one another by phone or internet. Also as part of the memo, Goodell said league and club facilities would remain closed. Monday was supposed to be the start of the NFL's offseason workout program, but the league and the NFL Players Association are trying to devise a new plan to when they could begin, allowing teams to conduct classroom instructions and workouts on a virtual basis. 

Working remotely in isolation has been the norm throughout many cities in the United States for the past month. Professional sports, however, cannot be played in video chats and over e-mail.

Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto hopes Serie A can resume in early June for his side to continue their title bid.

Serie A was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Lazio sitting sitting second and just a point behind Juventus.

It remains uncertain when, and if, the season will resume, but Luis Alberto hopes it can get back underway in June.

"Now we believe in the Scudetto. We are there and we cannot deny being in the running to win it," he told Onda Cero via Instagram.

"I think we can start playing in early June, but it is difficult to give an exact date. It depends on the evolution of the virus.

"Hopefully everything will be done as soon as possible. I want to finish the championship. It would be right both for us who are at the top of the standings and for those who are fighting not to be relegated. And I am not saying this because we are in second place."

Luis Alberto, the former Liverpool midfielder, has impressed for Lazio since arriving in 2016.

He has been linked with a return to boyhood club Sevilla, but Luis Alberto said he would be renewing his contract with Lazio.

"I have always said that Sevilla is my home and that I would like to return," he said.

"But now my future is in white and blue. We are well under way for the renewal, I believe it will come soon."

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director of men's cricket Ashley Giles is holding out hope for a full international schedule after the coronavirus pandemic.

The ECB announced last month that no professional cricket will be played until May 28 due to the spread of COVID-19, though that date could yet be extended.

England are due to face West Indies in a three-match Test series starting on June 4, with a series against Pakistan to follow. Limited-overs games against Australia, Pakistan and Ireland are also on the schedule.

Giles is trying to retain a positive outlook and is open to trying to cram in as many games as possible rather than trimming back the fixture list.

"I'm positive that we'll get some cricket in later in the summer," said Giles. "What exactly that looks like I don't know. But we have to be [positive] when we're planning, otherwise it becomes ever decreasing circles and we just get more and more down on the situation. 

"In terms of playing across formats at the same time, we will do whatever we have to do. We will be flexible. By no means would that be ideal but this goes far beyond that. There's some bigger picture stuff here, apart from the health crisis that's going on.

"I don't think anything's off the table, I think it is a blank sheet. If we have to do it, we will. In terms of cricket performance, whilst it not be ideal from a playing point of view, in the long run it might give us a better look at more players and a broader group of people that we might have to play in the future anyway.

"In that sense, it would give greater opportunity. Everything's on the table. I think it would be wrong of me to sit in these meetings – as much as I fight the professional and players' side – there is a bigger picture here and we are going to have to adapt and be as flexible as everyone else."

He added: "In terms of cricket, we're looking at all scenarios and probably with a focus on protecting some of our bigger games. The big games for us in terms of international teams, Test matches, one-dayers, T20Is, looking at scenarios where we can push those back as far as possible without losing any cricket.

"That is possible and I think we have to hang on to hope that we will get out there and we will play. Whether that's behind closed doors or in front of full houses, no one of us quite know. The priority is to doing what the government tells us to do and to keep everyone safe."

Rose Namajunas pulled out of UFC 249 after two people in her family died from coronavirus, her manager announced on Thursday.

Former strawweight champion Namajunas was due to face Jessica Andrade in the co-main event on April 18, which was a rematch from losing her title to the Brazilian at UFC 237.

However, she became the second high-profile star to withdraw after Khabib Nurmagomedov's fight with Tony Ferguson was scratched due to travel restrictions resulting from the spread of COVID-19.

A statement issued on Instagram by Namajunas' representative Brian Butler read: "@rosenamajunas withdrew from UFC 249 due to 2 deaths in the family related to the coronavirus.

"Her hopes are to return to the Octagon as soon as possible but for now we ask for people to respect their privacy during this time."

A replacement for Namajunas is yet to be announced, while Ferguson will face Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title.

UFC 249 was scheduled to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn but a new location is being sought. According to the John Hopkins University, New York City has had over 87,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 5,100 deaths.

UFC president Dana White has suggested the event could take place on a private island.

Belgium's Pro League have pushed back the date for a meeting to decide whether or not the 2019-20 season should be cancelled.

Last week, organisers recommended rendering the season void, with the coronavirus pandemic having seen all but a handful of sporting competitions across the world put on hold.

The unprecedented move would have seen Club Brugge declared champions and Waasland-Beveren relegated.

UEFA later insisted that any such decision was premature and that cancelling the whole campaign must be seen as "a last resort" by all member associations.

A Pro League general assembly had been called for April 15 to discuss the findings of a working group tasked with assessing the sporting and financial implications of declaring the season over.

However, a statement on Thursday confirmed the assembly has been delayed until April 24, when all Pro League clubs will be invited to attend.

"The members of the working group appointed by the board of directors are now continuing their duties," the statement added.

Manchester United have donated medical equipment, food and gifts to local medical centres, with Alex Ferguson leading the praise of the NHS and the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League club's foundation have delivered protective equipment, other medical supplies and over 3,500 United gifts to staff at NHS Foundation Trusts in Salford and Manchester.

United also said they would be willing to allow the NHS to use Old Trafford's facilities and 16 vehicles belonging to their foundation, while 30,000 items of food and drink stored at the stadium have been sent to food banks, hospitals and charities.

Former United manager Alex Ferguson, who had emergency surgery after suffering a brain haemorrhage two years ago, expressed his appreciation for the health service.

"I'm delighted we are now recognising the importance of our NHS - as I experienced two years ago after they saved my life," Ferguson said on United's official website.

"The response to this pandemic has been magnificent and has made me proud of the way the club and the British people have rallied round to help. Well done."

Those words were echoed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, one of Ferguson's successors and the current incumbent of the United job.

"The NHS staff and the volunteers fighting the virus are putting themselves at risk to keep everybody safe and doing a truly amazing job," Solskjaer added.

"They deserve thanks and praise from everybody for their work and their efforts every single day."

On Wednesday, Premier League players announced the creation of a fund to help health services, with United captain Harry Maguire coordinating the effort from Solskjaer's squad.

"On behalf of all the players, our thoughts are with all those that have been affected by this terrible virus," the England international said.

"It has been heart-warming to see the nation come together to show their appreciation to the NHS and other critical workers."

Real Madrid star Toni Kroos said it was logical for players and coaches to take a pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Madrid announced that players and coaches from their football and basketball squads agreed to reduction in wages on Wednesday, with LaLiga and professional sport in Spain on hold due to COVID-19.

Directors at Madrid also accepted to voluntary reductions in pay for 2019-20 – the pay cuts will be between 10 and 20 per cent "depending on the circumstances that may affect the closing of the 2019-20 season", the club said in a statement.

Prior to the midweek announcement, Kroos had stated he was not in favour of pay cuts amid financial concerns but the Germany international explained his comments.

"It is possible that it [the interview] has not been translated correctly or that some do not want to understand," Kroos wrote via Twitter.

"From the first moment, my opinion, you know me well, is this: if we can help the workers and areas of the club, I see it as logical to renounce part of our salary, something that could be proven today."

In an interview with SWR Sport podcast on Tuesday, Madrid midfielder Kroos said: "Cutting salaries is like a donation in vain – or for the club.

"I am in favour of paying the full salary and let everyone do sensible things with it. Everyone is being asked to help where necessary, and there are many places where it is necessary."

St Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko is set to return to the ice when and if the coronavirus-hit NHL season resumes.

Tarasenko underwent shoulder surgery in October and the Russian forward has not played for Stanley Cup champions the Blues since.

The three-time All-Star had three goals and seven assists in 10 games up until October 24.

Tarasenko began skating for the first time since the procedure in early February and was inching closer to a return before the season was paused on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I was lucky enough to travel a couple road trips before this all started to feel like a part of the team again more," Tarasenko said on the Blues' full-team conference call on Wednesday.

"Just looking forward to joining the guys on the ice, practice normally and hopefully play some hockey. It's been a long year, but hockey will start some day and we're just waiting for the day."

Tarasenko and Alex Ovechkin are the only players in the league to score at least 30 goals for five consecutive seasons entering 2019-20. 

The Blues' Tarasenko had 11 goals and six assists in 26 games last season to help St Louis win the Stanley Cup for the first time. 

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