Chelsea are in talks with their players over taking wage cuts as they look to cut costs in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Frank Lampard’s players hope to accept a reduction lower than the 30% suggested by the Premier League and are understood to have told Chelsea’s board that they are happy to take a cut of around 10% to help save the club money while the season is suspended. A deal in that region could save Chelsea between £8m and £10m in wages.
Earlier this month Premier League clubs attempted to reach an agreement with their players over collective 30% wage drops, either through cuts, deferrals or a combination of both, only for the plans to be rejected. With negotiations at a standstill clubs were left to conduct individual talks with their squads. Southampton and West Ham have since become the first top-flight sides to reach agreements with their players over wage deferrals.
The situation has continued to develop this week, with Arsenal close to agreeing 12.5% cuts with their players and Chelsea hoping to follow their London rivals down a similar path. It is understood that Chelsea’s captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, has been representing the players, who could yet look to defer a portion of their pay. Talks with Marina Granovskaia, the club’s director, have gathered pace in recent days and are thought to have gone amicably so far.
If the players agree wage reductions it will be a further demonstration of Chelsea’s willingness to play their part during the coronavirus crisis. The west Londoners have made the Millennium Hotel on their Stamford Bridge site available to NHS staff and will also provide 78,000 meals to the NHS and charities to support the homeless and vulnerable.
Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, has taken an active role in the club’s community work. They have also teamed up with the domestic abuse charity Refuge to help provide support for people forced to self-isolate in vulnerable situations and have continued to pay their full-time and casual staff in full since the postponement of the season.
Meanwhile, Tino Anjorin is set to become the latest Chelsea youngster to commit his future to the club. The 18-year-old striker, who made his senior debut after coming off the bench during last month’s victory over Everton, is close to agreeing a new five-year deal.