Chelsea players’ U-turn on accepting pay cuts last weekend followed pressure from players at other Premier League clubs, who were concerned that another squad following the example of Arsenal, where a 12.5 per cent cut has been agreed, would set a precedent for the rest of the top flight.
Many club captains have been particularly vociferous in opposing the cut, as is revealed by a text message sent among the group following their meeting with Premier League officials last month that has been seen by Sportsmail.
‘One thing everyone agreed on was that (as the situation stands) NOBODY agrees to take a pay cut in any shape or form,’ read a message sent to players following the meeting.
Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta was reminded of Premier League captains’ coronavirus deal
‘We have to stay united on this, as there is no need to, and even if there was it is not our responsibility as players to fix this problem.’
That uncompromising message is understood to have been emphasised to Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta last week after the Spain defender had indicated a willingness to consider supporting wage cuts at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal’s players are the only squad to have agreed cuts, although Southampton and West Ham players accepted deferrals.
MARCELO BIELSA TOPS CHAMPIONSHIP WAGE LISTS
The confidential survey about Championship clubs’ wage bills this season, which detailed the astonishing level of spending in the second tier after being published by Sportsmail earlier this week, has led to much speculation as to the identity of the highest earners.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is on £3.46million a year and Aleksandar Mitrovic makes £3.54m at Fulham, making them clear leaders among managers and players, although opinion is divided as to whether the highest chief executive salary of £740,000 is Tony Scholes at Stoke or West Brom’s Mark Jenkins.
Marcelo Bielsa, boss of Leeds, is the highest-paid manager in the Championship this season
TOTTENHAM SET TO MISS OUT ON £4M AS NFL GAMES STAY IN AMERICA
Tottenham are bracing themselves for another financial blow next week. The release of next season’s NFL fixture list is expected to confirm that they will not be hosting two matches at their new stadium, a setback that will cost them in excess of £4million.
The club have a 10-year agreement to put on two matches a season which began last year, but given the uncertainty surrounding international travel and mass events, hosting games in London this October is not feasible and the NFL are expected to complete their entire season in America.
The NFL’s impending announcement is also a setback for the FA, who were due to hold two games at Wembley and will also lose millions, but is a bigger blow for Tottenham given the amount they invested in a retractable pitch which has only been used once, and the costs of servicing the stadium’s £637m debt.
The NFL season launch was postponed last month, but they have committed to announcing the fixtures by May 9.
Tottenham are set to miss out on hosting two NFL matches next season at a cost of £4million
DERBY SET TO SUFFER DELL DELAY
Derby’s growing financial problems, which led to their players and staff agreeing wage deferrals this week, have been exacerbated by a delay in concluding a £30m loan from MSD Capital.
The proposed loan from the investment company owned by American billionaire Michael Dell has been held up as the firm have previously invested in Sunderland, and there is concern that if either club defaulted MSD could have a stake in two rival clubs.
Derby’s cash-flow issues have been compounded by the fact that they begin the process of renewing season tickets later than most clubs at the end of April, so have yet to bank any ticket money relating to next season.
An investment from Michael Dell’s company into Derby County has been delayed
EDDIE JONES TO DELIVER LOCKDOWN LESSONS
England rugby coach Eddie Jones has switched his attention to football during his exile in Japan, where he has been throughout the sporting shutdown.
The Australian hosted a webinar organised by the League Managers Association attended by more than 170 coaches last week in which he discussed ‘resilience and decision-making in sport’, qualities which are certainly required at the moment.
Eddie Jones is currently locked down in Japan and will deliver webinars to sports figures