Leeds players and coaches defer wages to save other staff


London (AFP) – Leeds United’s players and coaches, including Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa, have agreed to defer their wages “for the foreseeable future” to ensure all non-football staff at the club can be paid.

Leeds were on the brink of ending a 16-year wait to return to the lucrative Premier League before football was suspended across England until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The club said the lack of income would cost “several million pounds each month”.

“Leeds United can confirm 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 (training ground) can be paid and the integrity of the business can be maintained during these uncertain times,” Leeds said in a statement.

“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,” the statement added.

Director of football Victor Orta praised the players’ show of unity for the rest of the club’s employees.

“My players have demonstrated an incredible sense of unity and togetherness and I am proud of their actions,” said Orta. “To Marcelo and his staff and all of the players, we thank them for putting our wider team first.”

Leeds lead the Championship by a point from West Brom, but have a seven-point advantage over third-placed Fulham in the race to secure the two automatic promotion places.

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