Southampton the first Premier League club to defer player wages/Man City set to follow suit

Southampton have today become the first club in the Premier League to announce deferrals to the wages of their first-team squad, in a move to ‘protect’ the financial wellbeing of the Saints’ backroom staff.

Football hit hard

The subject of wage-cuts has of course been headline news in the world of football for several weeks now.

As clubs attempt to cut costs amid the unprecedented situation brought forth by the COVID-19 crisis, staff members at every level have been affected to at least some degree throughout Europe and beyond.

Heavyweight clubs the likes of JuventusBarcelonaBayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, for example, have announced major wage-cuts for their respective first-team squads:

Up until today, however, no Premier League club had taken such steps.

All of Newcastle United, Tottenham and Norwich City have announced that non-playing staff have been placed on furlough of late, with European champions Liverpool having also been forced to backtrack on a similar decision following a heavy public backlash earlier this week.

‘We believe we came to the wrong conclusion last week to announce that we intended to apply to the Coronavirus Retention Scheme and furlough staff due to the suspension of the Premier League football calendar, and are truly sorry for that,’ Reds chief executive officer Peter Moore explained in an official statement.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 22: Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool celebrates with teammates Virgil van Dijk and Roberto Firmino after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Southampton act

As outlined above, though, confirmation of the first Premier League outfit to have taken action in a manner which will influence the wages of their first-team squad has today finally arrived.

The club in question are Southampton.

An announcement across the Saints’ website and social media platforms a short time ago revealed that the club’s board, management team and senior squad have all deferred ‘part of their salaries’ for 3 months, to ensure the financial wellbeing of the remainder of the staff at St. Mary’s:

‘The board of directors, the first-team manager, his coaching staff and the first-team squad have agreed to defer part of their salaries for the months of April, May and June to help protect the future of the club, the staff that work within it and the community we serve.’

City to follow

Manchester City, meanwhile, are expected to follow suit with similar measures imminently.

As revealed by the Times, the Premier League champions will soon also announce wage deferrals across the club’s first-team squad:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.