Leeds players volunteer to defer wages so 'all non-football staff can be paid' during coronavirus suspension

George Flood
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Players, coaching staff and senior management at Leeds United have all volunteered to take wage deferrals with the football season currently postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Championship leaders said the move was to "ensure that all non-football staff at Elland Road and Thorp Arch can be paid and the integrity of the business can be maintained during these uncertain times".

Leeds - whose "side before self every time'' motto from legendary late former captain and manager Billy Bremner headlined the club statement - said they were set to lose "several million pounds" each month as a result of the suspension of football in England, which is due to last until at least April 30.

"Following a regular catch up between chief executive Angus Kinnear, director of football Victor Orta and several senior players, the decision was made by the squad to defer part of their own salaries to ensure that the club can continue to pay all 272 members of full-time staff and the majority of casual staff for the coming months," their statement read.

The first-team squad said as a collective: "Leeds United is a family, this is the culture that has been created by everyone at the club, from the players and the board to the staff and the supporters in the stands.

"We face uncertain times and therefore 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.

"In the meantime, let’s work as one to listen to the government advice and the health service and beat this virus."

Orta spoke of his pride at the actions of Leeds' players and management, praising their "incredible sense of unity and togetherness".

Birmingham were the first Championship club to confirm wage deferrals this week, while Brentford have also opened talks with their players over following suit.

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