[Scotland] FIFA Announces Financial Help Plan As Celtic Cut Salaries

24 APR 2020

Celtic's first-team squad, manager Neil Lennon, its backroom staff and club executives - including chief executive Peter Lawwell - will voluntarily take a "significant reduction in salaries", Belfast Telegraph reports.

Additionally, the club agreed that it will "make deferrals of a significant proportion of their earnings" from April until June as part of a package of financial measures Celtics believe will bring them stability through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Lawwell said, "I would like to pay tribute to Neil and the players for their desire to play their part and the outcomes achieved.

"I am also grateful to my own executive team for the commitment they have devoted to this outcome in very difficult working circumstances and also their own willingness to play a part in the measures adopted.

"I am extremely appreciative of the willingness of everyone concerned, to recognise the practical difficulties which this awful crisis has created.

"Celtic are in a strong financial position but we are not immune to this unique set of circumstances."

At the beginning of April, the Glasgow club confirmed they were furloughing some non-playing staff but insisted they would supplement the government's scheme - which covers up to 80 per cent of wages to a maximum £2,500 - so no employee experienced a salary shortfall.

Mr Lennon said, "This club is all about teamwork and solidarity, on and off the park.

"We are well aware of the economic realities and are very willing to play our part in recognising them."

He added, “We will come through this in unity and then look forward to the challenges ahead.”

Meanwhile, Gianni Infantino - FIFA president - has promised to make money from the world governing body’s reserve funds available to help football absorb the financial impact of the coronavirus lockdown.

Leagues around the world suspended and major tournaments have been postponed, including Euro 2020, leaving individuals and organisations at all levels of the game counting the cost of the pandemic.

Mr Infantino said FIFA must consider the best ways it can help to mitigate the impact. “FIFA enjoy a good reputation on the financial markets. This has helped us consolidate a solid foundation with large reserves,” he said. “But our reserves are not FIFA’s money.

“It is football’s money. So when football is in need, we must think what we can do to help. It is our responsibility and our duty.”

Mr Infantino said a consultation process to assess the financial impact on football with the intention of creating a fund with an independent governance structure is already underway.

“You have to know that we will be there and we will find solutions together,” Infantino added. “You will never be alone...(and) the world will know where the money goes and, equally important, why the money goes there.”