Southampton have become the first club to reach an agreement with their players to defer wages. The club have announced that the first team players, coaching staff and board of directors will “defer part of their wages” for the next three months.
The club statement said:
“The board of directors, the first-team manager, his coaching staff and the first-team squad have agreed to defer part of their salaries for the months of April, May and June to help protect the future of the club, the staff that work within it and the community we serve.”
This comes in the wake of the Premier League’s announcement last week that clubs would be asking all players to take a 30% wage cut to help sustain finances.
The Professional Footballers Association was critical of that announcement, saying that it would only “harm” the NHS rather than helping it due to a cut in tax contributions.
Southampton also made it clear that, as a part of their agreement, they will NOT be using the governments job retention scheme and furloughing their staff.
“Furthermore, the club can confirm that it will not use the government’s Job Retention Scheme during April, May and June.
“Our owners, Mr. Gao and Katharina Liebherr, have put measures in place to ensure that all staff not deferring part of their salaries will continue to receive 100% of their pay, paid in the normal way until 30th June.
“Any decision on the future beyond this date will be made in advance of this, but only when more information is known.”
A number of Premier League clubs have already used the governments scheme and furloughed their staff, garnering much criticism from around the country.
Newcastle United, Bournemouth, Norwich and Tottenham have all used the scheme and placed staff on furlough leave. Meanwhile, Liverpool did announce they were to use it but after a massive backlash from their own fans, they reversed that decision.
Southampton ended their statement with a plea to their fans to adhere to the government advice, saying: “We ask everyone connected to the club and the city of Southampton to listen and adhere to the government’s advice.
“Meanwhile, we will continue to prepare our club for a return to the pitch and make sure that, when safe, we are ready to play and serve the people of Southampton again.”