Chelsea confirm they will not be using the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Saturday 25 April 2020 16:22, UK
Chelsea say first-team players "will not be contributing towards the club financially" following discussions amid the coronavirus crisis, but have been asked to support charities instead.
Earlier this month, Sky Sports News reported that Chelsea's players were in talks about taking a pay cut as part of their response to the outbreak, with director Marina Granovskaia holding discussions with captain Cesar Azpilicueta over the issue.
It is understood that an agreement has not been reached yet but the talks have been amicable and constructive and there has been no falling out. The talks will continue but it is a complicated situation because different players are on different contracts.
Sky Sports News has confirmed that the wage cut Chelsea's players proposed was less than 10 per cent of their salaries, and also fell short of the £10m figure which has been reported elsewhere.
While talks about a wage cut continue, the club have encouraged players to carry on with their own charity work and they are happy to do so.
A club statement on Saturday indicated that the players will not be taking a salary reduction at this time, with Chelsea saying they had instead been asked to support "other charitable causes", while also confirming that the Blues will not be using the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
"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," the statement said.
"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.
"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."
Chelsea also confirmed that they will not be using the government's furloughing scheme for non-playing staff and say they are not planning on making anyone redundant.
Roman Abramovich is understood to be 100 per cent committed to the club and will continue to make sure every single employee is paid in full and that all charity work continues.
"The club can confirm we will not be taking advantage of the Government's current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which runs to 30 June. We are not planning any general redundancies or furloughs for our full-time staff who are continuing to be paid 100 per cent of their current wages.
"Casual workers and match day staff employed by the club are being compensated by us through 30 June as if matches had been played and we had been operating as normal.
"We are continuing our current level of financial and other support to our professional women players and also to our women's academy programmes. Our women's team and staff have been very supportive of our charitable activities during this crisis which has been appreciated by both the club and the respective charities."
The club also plans to reimburse supporters who made non-refundable travel arrangements to go to Germany for their Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on March 18.