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Leeds United players & staff agree to defer wages for ‘foreseeable future’
The Telegraph have reported on Thursday that Leeds United have reached a major agreement in efforts to help the club during the financial crisis brought on by Covid-19.
Leeds were on course for Premier League promotion this season. When the Championship season was suspended, Leeds lead the division on 71 points, a point ahead of West Brom.
However, with no football on the horizon, Leeds have agreed to defer all payments to their staff and players. The Telegraph confirm:
Leeds United have agreed a deal with players and coaching staff that will see them defer their wages for the foreseeable future.
Sources have told Telegraph Sport that Leeds players, senior management and coaching staff have agreed not to be paid during the current coronavirus crisis in order to help the club through this difficult period.
Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) March 26, 2020
Leeds have made these significant financial decisions in an effort to stave off bankruptcy.
Speaking to Gianluca Di Marzio this week, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani made the following comments about the club’s financial health in light of Covid-19:
(It’s) disaster unfortunately. To be competitive, a club like ours loses £8-10million every year and nobody wants to keep a business that loses money every year.
This situation aggravates the budget. Not having five home games we lose about two and a half million pounds which are the only source of revenues since such figures do not come from TV rights.
The Daily Mail report that 272 workers at Leeds United will be affected by the club’s decision to halt payments to players and staff:
Leeds have become the first side to announce they will be deferring their wages ‘for the foreseeable future’ to support other staff at the club and training ground Thorp Arch while keeping finances stable.
All 272 full-time staff and the majority of casual staff will be paid.
💙 Side Before Self, Every Time
Leeds United (@LUFC) March 26, 2020
The Whites have posted the following statement on the club website:
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 can be paid and the integrity of the business can be maintained during these uncertain times.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has seen the UK and many other nations around the world in a state of ‘lockdown’ and whilst there is a shared commitment to complete the season, there is no concrete plan for a return date with Marcelo Bielsa’s side sitting top of the Sky Bet Championship with just nine games left to play. 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.
Collectively the Leeds United first-team squad said: “Leeds United is a family, this is the culture that has been created by everyone at the club, from the players and the board to the staff and the supporters in the stands. We face uncertain times and therefore it is important that we all work together to find a way that the club can push through this period and end the season in the way we all hope we can. In the meantime, lets work as one to listen to the government advice and the health service and beat this virus.”
Director of football, Victor Orta, added: My players have demonstrated an incredible sense of unity and togetherness and I am proud of their actions. To Marcelo 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. Vamos carajo.