Leeds United players agree to defer wages for the foreseeable future

26 Mar 2020 10:21 am, by YorkshireSquare

The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting everyone across Europe with country after country going into lockdown. One of the first affects of the virus was the postponement of professional sport a few weeks ago and whilst sport is far from the most important thing on peoples minds when the lockdowns are ended the resumption of football will provide an outlet and form of relief for thousands of people. But first clubs have to get through the next few weeks, with their forms of revenue cut and cashflow falling many clubs are facing a daunting period financially.

With some clubs already laying off backroom staff action needs to be taken. Today, in a positive step for the club, Leeds United have confirmed 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. The spread of the COVID-19 virus has seen the UK and many other nations around the world in a state of 'lockdown'. 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 including captain Liam Cooper, 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, let’s 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.

The FA confirmed last week that the season would not resume until at least May, and whilst the season has been extended indefinitely to allow for completion there are still no firm plans in place. At least now, the actions of the club and players should provide some relief on cash flow to allow the club to survive through these next few weeks. Hopefully in a couple of months there will be a clearer plan in place to finish the season and the club will be in a strong position to kick off again. Now all we need is some clarity and leway on season ticket renewals to help the fans in during these difficult times.