Pressure mounts on Premier League players to make move on wages
Tottenham Hotspur's decision to impose a 20 per cent wage reduction on 550 non-playing staff due to the impact of the coronavirus has prompted increased pressure on Premier League players to take a pay cut or a deferral of wages.
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) are in talks with the Premier League over how best to deal with the current suspension of competition, but the moves by some clubs to use the government's furlough scheme has prompted sharp criticism.
On Monday, Newcastle United put non-playing staff on leave and instructed employees to apply for the government's newly-created coronavirus job retention scheme.
Professional football in England has been suspended until April 30, at the earliest, due to the pandemic.
Norwich City on Tuesday said they were taking similar steps to "safeguard future jobs and help sustain the club" through the crisis. The Norfolk club said they would top up the government's help to ensure staff received their full salaries.
Julian Knight, the Conservative MP who is chair of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee in the British parliament, has condemned such moves.
“It sticks in the throat,” said Knight.
“This exposes the crazy economics in English football and the moral vacuum at its centre.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said top players should be the ones who make the sacrifices.
"It should be those with the broadest shoulders who go first because they can carry the greatest burden and have probably got savings, rather than those who were in catering or hospitality who have probably got no savings and live week by week and who probably won’t get the (government) benefits for five weeks," he told the BBC.
Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan said the situation was an "awful look for football.
“I believe there is a moral issue around an industry like football that has been awash with money,” Jordan told the talkSPORT radio station.
“Football players and football clubs over the last five years have really had it on their toes with the revenues that have increased because of the broadcasters.
“I think there is a situation here where football has to look at itself and say, ‘Do I really, just because the government is offering its teat, have to nuzzle on that?’."
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said his move aimed to protect the club but said he hoped that talks between players, managers and the Premier League would reach a decision.
"We hope the current discussions between the Premier League, PFA and LMA (League Managers Association) will result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football eco system," he said.
Leverkusen players agree pay cut amid virus pandemic
Bayer Leverkusen players, staff and management on Wednesday unanimously agreed to accept an unspecified pay cut as the Bundesliga remains suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Leverkusen captain Lars Bender said discussions had taken place in the last few weeks and on Tuesday they reached an agreement.
"The team is ready to waive part of the salaries in order to support the club in its efforts to financially overcome the corona crisis," Bender said in a club statement following a makeshift training session where players trained only in pairs.
Team training cannot resume before April 5.
"We again got a very concrete idea in the empty BayArena stadium today about how important the various colleagues are in breathing life into the club and how important each and every one of them is in providing us with ideal conditions to do our job."
Play in the Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March and the German Football League (DFL) on Tuesday extended the league suspension until at least April 30.
The DFL has also hinted that should play resume in the coming weeks or months, it would most likely be without spectators.
Cagliari president says staff agree to go without one month's wages
The players and staff at Serie A team Cagliari have agreed to go without pay for one month to help the Sardinian club get through the stoppage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, its president Tommaso Giulini has said.
Serie A, like football leagues around the world, has been brought to a standstill and there is no indication of when it may be able to start again, although the Italian federation says it wants to finish the season.
"I notice a great sense of responsibility, all our employees and not just the players have already given up a month's pay," Giulini said in an interview with the Sardinian television station Videolina on Wednesday.
"It was a gesture of great responsibility that allows us to limit the losses. If the championship doesn't start again we'll see what to do for the next few months, for now we can only thank those who made this gesture".
On Saturday, Italian champions Juventus said their players had agreed to accept reduced wages from March to June to help the Turin club through the crisis.
Inter Milan were also reported by Italian media to be close to agreeing a wage cut with their players.
Some clubs such as Fiorentina and Torino have already said they think the season will have to be abandoned.