Chelsea players to donate to charity after club opts against pay cut

LONDON: Chelsea have said they won’t impose a pay cut on their first team squad in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

But the Premier League side added Saturday they had asked players to continue donating to charities during the ongoing pandemic.

It has been reported the west London club have been in talks with their players about a salary reduction of around 10% in a bid to reduce costs at a time when football has been suspended because of the virus.

That figure, however, is significantly lower than the Premier League’s suggestion of 30% for all clubs.

But that has not stopped the Stamford Bridge side from taking their own course of action as they highlighted the #PlayersTogether initiative launched by Premier League players earlier this month, which aims to raise and distribute funds for charities supporting Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

“Representatives of the Chelsea board have recently held extensive talks with the men’s first team to discuss how they can contribute financially to the club during the coronavirus crisis,” said a club statement.

“The objective of these talks has been to find a meaningful partnership around ensuring we preserve jobs for staff, compensate fans and participate in activities for good causes.

“We are grateful to the team for having played their role in assisting the club with community activities as well as all the charitable causes they have been supporting in their respective home countries and through the Players Together initiative supporting the NHS.”

The statement added: “At this time, the men’s first team will not be contributing towards the club financially and 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.”

Meanwhile the Blues said they would not be taking advantage of the British government’s coronavirus job retention or furlough scheme, with casual workers and matchday staff being compensated by the club through to June 30.

Newcastle and Norwich are currently the only two Premier League clubs using the furlough for some of their non-playing staff, while Liverpool, Tottenham and Bournemouth were all forced into U-turns after their plans to use the scheme were met with widespread criticism.