Breaking: Sheffield United players agree wage deferral

Sheffield United’s players have agreed to defer some of their wages and bonuses for the rest of the year in order to help the Premier League club through the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 4:03 pm

The decision, which mirrors one taken by manager Chris Wilder, chief executive Steve Bettis and senior members of Bramall Lane’s coaching staff earlier this week, was confirmed in a statement published today.

It comes following what Bettis described as “positive” talks between United’s hierarchy and representatives of Wilder’s first team squad.

Bettis said: “"First and foremost, our thoughts remain with those directly affected by the issues related to Covid-19.

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"This announcement follows positive and constructive discussions throughout the club, taking into account the severity of the situation that the country finds itself in at the moment. I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with our first-team players, manager and backroom staff to help support the club.”

United were seventh in the table and preparing for an FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal when the English game was placed into lockdown at the beginning of last month due to the pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 171,000 lives worldwide.

Captain Billy Sharp and Simon Moore, United’s PFA delegate, are thought to have been instrumental in helping reach the agreement, with Bettis revealing both they and their colleagues were keen to help him address the financial challenges the sport is facing following the postponement of games.

United have also placed around 220 workers employed in other departments on furlough - the majority of whom are on casual contracts - although they will continue to be paid in full.

Sheffield United's players have taken steps to help the club through the Covid-19 crisis: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

A spokesperson for United’s board explained they will not be approaching the government to help subsidise the wages of those affected.

Noting how Sharp and his team mates have also made donations to causes, including the #PlayersTogether initiative, designed to help curb the spread of the respiratory disease, Bettis added: "It is a difficult period for everyone, but our football club also needs to be taken care of and I'm delighted that the players want to mirror the gesture of Chris and the staff by contributing. It confirms that they care about Sheffield United.

"The players should be commended, not only for this action, but also for their role in the #playerstogether initiative with other Premier League clubs."

An important message from The Star:

Chris Wilder and Steve Bettis, Sheffield United's CEO, have already agreed to take steps of their own, together with senior coaching staff at Bramall Lane: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

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