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Leeds United players and manager Marcelo Bielsa VOLUNTEER to take wage deferral


Leeds United's players and coaches have volunteered to take a wage deferral to ensure non-footballing staff at Elland Road can be paid amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

There has been considerable concern across football at the financial impact of COVID-19, with clubs missing out on significant revenue with most leagues currently suspended.

And Leeds have become the first side to announce they will be deferring their wages 'for the foreseeable future' to support other staff at the club and training ground Thorp Arch while keeping finances stable. All 272 full-time staff and the majority of casual staff will be paid.

During a meeting between chief executive Angus Kinnear, director of football Victor Orta and senior players at Leeds, the decision was made – with the senior management team also deferring their wages.

A statement from the squad read: 'Leeds United is a family, this is the culture that has been created by everyone at the club, from the players and the board to the staff and the supporters in the stands. 

'We face uncertain times and therefore it is important that we all work together to find a way that the club can push through this period and end the season in the way we all hope we can. 

'In the meantime, let's work as one to listen to the government advice and the health service and beat this virus.' 

Director of football Victor Orta added: 'My players have demonstrated an incredible sense of unity and togetherness and I am proud of their actions. 

'To Marcelo and his staff and all of the players, we thank them for putting our wider team first and taking care of family. 

'Now we must focus on public health, and when the people are safe, finish what we started. Vamos carajo (Let's f****** go).' 

Leeds were top of the Championship and potentially just eight games away from promotion to the Premier League when the season was suspended.

Owner Andrea Radrizzani was clear about the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis on Leeds – who average attendances of around 35,000 in the second-tier – earlier this week. 

'It's a disaster,' he continued. 'A club like ours loses £8-10million every year to be competitive, and nobody wants to keep a business that is losing money every year.

'This situation is worsening our balance. By not having five home matches, we miss out on around £2.5m that are the only source of income given that we don't have similar amounts (as the Premier League) coming in from TV rights.

'This aggravated epidemic is worsening this situation that is usually complicated enough.' 

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