London (AFP) – Sheffield United players will defer part of their wages until the end of 2020 to help the Premier League club ride out the economic storm caused by coronavirus.
The Blades manager Chris Wilder, senior members of his coaching staff and chief executive Stephen Bettis have also agreed a wage deferral for six months.
Southampton and West Ham have agreed wage deferrals, while Arsenal became the first Premier League club to reach a deal on pay cuts with players taking 12.5 percent less for a year.
“It is a difficult period for everyone, but our football club also needs to be taken care of and I’m delighted that the players want to mirror the gesture of Chris and the staff by contributing, it confirms that they care about Sheffield United,” said Bettis in a club statement.
“The players should be commended, not only for this action, but also for their role in the #playerstogether initiative with other Premier League clubs.”
PlayersTogether is a charitable fund set up by Premier League players to generate funds for those working on the frontline in the fight against the pandemic.
Premier League chiefs believe the virus could cost them around £1 billion ($1.2 billion) if the season cannot be completed.
Premier League games are suspended indefinitely as the UK battles to bring the virus under control.
Should the season not be completed, United could be one of the sides to miss out as they were in contention to qualify for European football for the first time in their history.
In their first season back in the top flight, Wilder’s men sit seventh in the table, just two points behind Manchester United in fifth and with a game in hand over the Red Devils.
Sheffield United were also due to host Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
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