Birmingham forced to take drastic action with players as the suspension of football because of coronavirus starts to impact Championship clubs.
The Blues have reportedly asked some of their team to take a wage deferral as they look to stave off financial problems.
According to a report, players who earn over £6,000 per week at St Andrew’s will see their salaries cut in half for the next four months.
The Telegraph add that they will be repaid in full from June onwards, by which time the football authorities hope matches will be back underway.
Birmingham sent an email to agents asking them to agree to a “short-term deduction in wages in order to assist the club to continue to run on a day-to-day basis in the current climate”. The club said it was due to “unprecedented circumstances”.
Championship clubs also discussed the prospect of wage deferrals last week, so it’s highly unlikely that Birmingham will be the only club to do so.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will prove an economic “disaster” for the club.
The EFL claim its main priority is to finish this season to “protect the integrity” of the competition and has put in place a £50m fund to help with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on clubs.
“The primary objective, in order to protect competition integrity, is to deliver a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season, subject to the over-riding priority around health and well-being,” said the EFL, which represents 72 clubs, in a statement.
Fans reacted as Birmingham are forced to take drastic action with their players…
Great idea hope derby follow suit why should football players be any different to the rest of us it’s a struggle out here at the moment
— Adam Wright (@AdamWrighty14) March 24, 2020
Good finally doing something right at blues
— Matt Chance (@_chancey_) March 24, 2020
I mean why should they be earning ridiculous money when they’re not actually doing anything. Rest of the country is struggling. They won’t be with a wage cut ?
— Jack Marriott (@jackmarriott17) March 24, 2020
I'm no nose…but this is a sensible thing to do, I'm surprised it's a deferral rather than a straight 50% cut request. Many many clubs will be following suit. Some in Europe already have. All depends at the end of the day on the consciences of the players and agents.
— Paul Williams? (@pgw1) March 24, 2020
It was a case of who blinks first and I think a few clubs will follow this now.
— Gary Costello ?⭐️ (@B31villa) March 24, 2020
Ah yes coming from a derby fan ???
— Matty_Blue (@mat468) March 24, 2020
I think it’s likely a lot of clubs will do the same over the next few days or weeks. It really is down to one club making the first move and others will follow. I’m glad it was Blues and I hope all non playing staff continue to get paid in full.
— Screamoblue (@Matthewblue1875) March 24, 2020