Leeds United agree deal with players and staff to defer wages for foreseeable future

Players, senior management and coaching staff at the Championship league leaders have agreed not to be paid during coronavirus crisis

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Marcelo Bielsa and his squad are deferring payment during the crisis
Marcelo Bielsa and his squad are deferring payment during the crisis Credit: Getty Images

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.

That will increase the pressure on the Professional Footballer’s Association to sanction similar agreements across English football, although each club will have to negotiate their own individual deals with players, as well as staff.

The Championship leaders, who still do not know if they will be promoted to the Premier League as there are no guarantees this season can be finished, have a wage bill of around £1 million a week.

But a senior figure at Elland Road told Telegraph Sport “the vast majority” of wages will not be paid until the club knows when football will resume in this country.

“Leeds United can confirm that the players, coaching staff and senior management team have volunteered to take a wage deferral for the foreseeable future,” the club said in a statement, 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, 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.”