The wage deferrals process across the Premier League has begun.
And with talks continuing at clubs across the top-flight it is now a case of who might be next.
Premier League players have dug their heels in and refused to be pressured into taking wage cuts amid the coronavirus crisis which has had a huge impact on their clubs’ finances.
Wage deferral talks within clubs have begun across the Premier League amid the shutdown
Southampton players have agreed to defer around 10 per cent of wages for next three months
They were adamant in a video conference of captains and PFA representatives held at the start of last week that cuts were out of the question though they were willing to discuss deferrals with their clubs.
Sportsmail revealed on Monday that Premier League captains had set up a WhatsApp group to allow players to keep each other updated about wage discussions – aimed at giving them the edge in talks.
Southampton and West Ham were the first to reach agreements since the Premier League’s players finalised their position on the matter once and for all.
Southampton’s have agreed to defer around 10 per cent of their wages for the next three months to help ensure the club can pay the remainder of their staff 100 per cent of their salaries.
West Ham’s players will take bigger drops of up to 30 per cent until October, among a string of measures introduced by the London Stadium outfit.
West Ham United players will take a wage deferral of up to 30 per cent until October
Initially they were asked to take cuts an option rejected just like it will be at Arsenal after their opening proposal to slash 12.5 per cent of their players’ wages, money that would be lost if they miss out on European football.
Bournemouth held discussions with their players last week while the subject has also been broached at Everton, Leicester, Brighton, Watford and Bournemouth.
Deferrals will not be an option taken up at all clubs with some financially strong enough to be able to keep paying all of their staff.
Bournemouth have also held discussions with their players about taking wage deductions
Manchester rivals City and United have confirmed they will not need to make use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme and furlough employees, negating the need for deferrals, while Chelsea are also set to stay away from the idea.
Those clubs’ position is partly informed by a confidence that they will get at least the bulk of the television money they are expecting.
The PFA were initially informing their members to hold off agreeing to anything suggested by their clubs and were keen to establish club’s financial positions before giving any further guidance, amid concerns clubs were merely using the current situation to cut costs.
Manchester United and City both announced they would not be furloughing any of their staff
There has been worries among clubs about a payment that would normally be due in August for TV rights and whether that would prevent them being able to pay wages.
That is the first instalment of money due for next season’s TV rights though the 20/21 season is now set to be pushed back, potentially leading to the same for that initial amount of money.
However, the PFA were advising members their clubs’ financial positions were secure for the foreseeable future and that belief has only been enhanced by the advance of some of the money that would usually arrive with clubs at the end of the season for where they finish in the league and how often they have been on TV.
Despite their position on wage cuts leaving some thinking players are reluctant to give up money the opposite is actually the case.
During the coronavirus pandemic the generosity of players across the country has been highlighted through numerous acts and that has continued with the formal confirmation of the #PlayersTogether movement with all 20 clubs joining forces to raise money for NHS charities.
The #PlayersTogether movement has seen stars joining forces to raise money for NHS
Players have spent time since the announcement discussing how they will work out the contribution from their clubs with suggestions including each player deciding how much they want to donate, the team settling on a percentage of their wage or a set amount being agreed.
West Ham agreed the undisclosed amount they were going to donate as they finalised talks on their wage deferral.
There may be doubts about further deferral agreements being reached across the leagues but the donations are certain to follow.