West Ham agree wage deferrals while owners delay interest payments | Football

West Ham have followed in Southampton’s footsteps and become the second Premier League side to reach an agreement over wage deferrals with their players, who have agreed to go without a portion of their pay to ensure that non-playing staff continue to receive their salaries in full.

The east London club soothed their financial concerns following productive talks between the board and the first-team squad, who agreed to defer their pay after the financial disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic was explained to them. Shows of good faith on both sides of the negotiating table helped smooth the process, with the club’s vice-chair, Karren Brady, and the manager, David Moyes, accepting 30% deferrals and the owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, deferring interest payments on shareholder loans.

It emerged earlier this week that West Ham plan to do a rights issue to raise at least £30m next month, laying bare the consequences of the coronavirus crisis forcing the suspension of English football last month. The club made a proposal suggesting the players accept 30% deferrals on Thursday. It is believed that the players, who have been led by their captain, Mark Noble, have agreed a lower percentage, albeit one higher than the 10% deferral Southampton’s squad agreed earlier this week.

Negotiations over pay have rumbled throughout the Premier League since the postponement of the season. However, attempts to reach a collective agreement over 30% deferrals across the league reached a dead end last weekend, forcing clubs to go it alone. Manchester City are also understood to be in talks with their players over deferrals.

Four top-flight clubs – Bournemouth, Newcastle, Norwich and Tottenham – have placed non-playing staff on furlough. However, West Ham have continued to pay full-time and casual staff in full.

Brady said: “I would like to say a big thank you to David Moyes and his backroom team, our captain Mark Noble and our fantastic squad of players for the commitment and determination they have shown to offer their help and support. I would also like to thank the shareholders whose support through this injection of equity once again demonstrates their commitment to the future of the Club.”

Noble said: “As players we have been in constant dialogue with the Club since the situation around Covid-19 emerged and I am proud that our entire squad have made clear their strong desire to play our part in helping to support others through this situation.”

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