April 25, 2020 / 3:33 PM / a month ago

Chelsea say first team not taking pay cuts due to coronavirus

(Reuters) - Chelsea’s first-team players are not taking pay cuts or contributing towards the club financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club said in a statement on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Leicester City - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - August 18, 2019 General view inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Following extensive talks, the players have instead been asked to continue "supporting other charitable causes," Chelsea said in the statement here

British media had reported earlier that the club were in talks with players over the possibility of a 10% pay cut due to the crisis.

“At this time, the men’s first team will not be contributing towards the club financially,” Chelsea said. “Instead the board have directed the team to focus their efforts on further supporting other charitable causes.

“As this crisis develops the club will continue to have conversations with the men’s first team regarding financial contributions to the club’s activities.”

Chelsea added that they would not be using the government’s job retention scheme during the crisis and would continue to pay staff in full.

“The club can confirm we will not be taking advantage of the government’s current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which runs to 30 June,” the club said.

“We are not planning any general redundancies or furloughs for our full-time staff who are continuing to be paid 100% of their current wages.”

Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth have all reversed initial decisions to furlough non-playing staff during the pandemic in the wake of criticism, while earlier on Saturday Norwich City defended their decision to furlough staff.

Premier League clubs such as Southampton and West Ham United have announced wage deferrals for players since English soccer was suspended last month due to the outbreak, while Arsenal have announced a 12.5% pay cut for players and coaching staff.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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