Aston Villa have been applauded for making such a strong stand by deferring 25 per cent of their wages for an initial period of four months. The generous move by the likes of Jack Grealish, Dean Smith and co will help the club continue to run smoothly on a day-to-day basis. The kind act has allowed every member of Villa’s non-playing workforce to be paid in full throughout the lockdown.
“Our club”, “That’s how to run a football club” and “classy as ever” are just some of the messages that have been fired Villa’s way today.
What Villa’s senior staff are all doing is taking a temporary 25 per cent cut in wages for four months up until August. It means their September salaries should be, in effect, double their usual pay-days. A deferral is essentially a proportion of an employee’s income paid out at a later date. In a nutshell, those deferring their wages are helping to significantly bring costs down, with Villa doing this for a period of four consecutive months. The club aren’t gaining any significant income due to the Premier League suspension and, in order to keep jobs, players, coaching staff and highest-earners have all come together to support those at the lower-end of the pay scale. Villa’s players and staff who have deferred their pay will be due to get it all back – but at a later date. Salary deferral has been done to protect the livelihoods of our precious staff and their families. It will enable all of Villa’s non-football staff – full and part time – to be retained and paid in full throughout the lockdown. There will be no furloughing of staff.
Aston Villa’s club statement said “Players and staff are feeling a great sense of need to show solidarity with the many clubs in the football pyramid who have financial problems. We believe it is right and proper that the Premier League as a whole takes action on its finances collectively to enable it to be able to continue to provide vital funding throughout the game in England.”
Villa aren’t the first, it was Southampton who broke the mould in the Premier League. West Ham, Watford and Arsenal have all followed suit, too, the latter agreeing to defer 12.5 per cent of their salaries – exactly half of Villa’s confirmed agreement. The other clubs mentioned have kept their respective percentages private. West Ham’s manager Davis Moyes and the board, though, have all agreed to a 30 per cent deferral. Clubs such as Spurs and Chelsea have been struggling to negotiate deferrals with their players, the latter proposing 10 per cent deferrals which has been subsequently rejected by director Marina Granovskaia. Chelsea are, though, paying for The Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge to be used free of charge by NHS staff.
With their classy move , Aston Villa have shamed the mega-rich clubs – the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool – who are yet to take such a stand.
Across the Premier League, Norwich City and Newcastle have placed non-playing staff on furlough. Senior, non-playing figures at Brighton and Bournemouth have agreed to significant voluntary pay cuts throughout the pandemic period, too, including Cherries boss Eddie Howe and Seagulls manager Graham Potter. Every other club not mentioned – the likes of Everton, Liverpool, Man United, Wolves and so on – are continuing to pay staff, including its players, in full. What’s worth pointing out is players across the Premier League continue to make huge donations to charities, with some clubs preferring its players to do that rather than to temporarily cut their pay.
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