[UK] Southampton First Premier League Club To Defer Player Salaries

23 APR 2020

Southampton has become the first Premier League club to announce an agreement with players to defer part of their salaries during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox News reports.

Speaking on April 9, a spokesperson for Southampton said, Players and coaches at the south-coast team will not be paid their full salaries during April, May or June “to help protect the future of the club, the staff that work within it and the community we serve.” 

The club also announced that it will not be putting non-playing staff forward for the government’s job retention scheme. The scheme allows businesses to furlough workers who then receive 80 per cent of their salaries from the government, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

“Our owners…have put measures in place to ensure that all staff not deferring part of their salaries will continue to receive 100% of their pay, paid in the normal way until June 30,” Southampton said. “Any decision on the future beyond this date will be made in advance of this, but only when more information is known.”

Both Tottenham and Newcastle are among the Premier League clubs to have taken advantage of the scheme, which was implemented to help businesses survive the national lockdown. Liverpool also initially went for the scheme before a backlash from former players and the media caused them to rethink.

At an early April meeting last week, league clubs agreed to consult with their players over pay deferrals and about reductions amounting to 30 per cent of their total annual salary.

The players’ union has argued that a reduction of wages could lead to the UK losing out on more than £200million in tax, a loss which could potentially impact the NHS.

On April 8, league players launched #PlayersTogether, a collective initiative which will generate funds for the NHS during the pandemic and distribute them where they are most urgently needed.

In a letter shared across social media by a significant number of league players, it was made clear that these contributions were “separate to any other club and league conversations” in regard to salary cuts and deferrals.

The Premier League has been indefinitely suspended.