First Championship club ask players to defer wages and more to follow – reports



Birmingham City have reportedly asked players to take a deferral of wages as football remains on hold.

It is claimed that players who earn more than £6,000 per week will see their pay packets cut in half for the next four months.

The  Telegraph  report that Blues’ players will be repaid in full from June onwards, by which time the football authorities hope matches will be back underway.

Championship football has been suspended until at least April 30 but there is a wider acceptance that June 1 is already seen as the earliest possible return.

The Telegraph’s John Percy added: “Important point to make here is that Birmingham will not be alone in this stance. Many other EFL clubs are having to consider it due to the financial situation.”

Stoke City have told staff they will be paid and there will be no lay-offs at least through the next five uncertain months.

Birmingham have been walking a financial tight rope in recent years but recently had a misconduct charge dismissed.

The club faced a disciplinary commission for an  alleged breach of the business plan imposed on them by the EFL  after last season’s nine-point deduction.

The case was heard last month and it is understood Birmingham claimed they were pushed to sell players in the last January window for what they considered to be below their market value.

The League explained in a statement: “The EFL notes the decision made by the independent Disciplinary Commission in dismissing a misconduct charge brought by the EFL against Birmingham City in May 2019.

“That charge alleged the club failed to adhere to elements of a business plan agreed with the club following an earlier breach of Profitability and Sustainability Rules.

“The decision remains subject to appeal and the League will consider the judgment in full before making any further comment.”

Birmingham’s coffers could soon swell, however, as big clubs’ attentions are drawn to England youth prospect Jude Bellingham.

The 16-year-old midfielder, who scored against Stoke earlier this season, has been linked with Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund and has a reported £30m price tag.

Rio Ferdinand said on Instagram: “Man United’s hopes for Jude Bellingham boosted because a few other clubs have said that they’re not going to be doing transfers during a period where there’s uncertainty around coronavirus.

“Hopefully that let’s Man United in the back door and take him – unless we’re at the front of queue already.

“Jude Bellingham, huge talent. Huge talent. Really good-looking footballer in the way he plays, the balance, the poise he’s got, the maturity at such a young age. I want to see more.

“But you’re buying this kid, the price tag is phenomenal, £30m for a kid, for a 16-year-old boy. It’s unbelievable. But it’s the way of the world now, and the way you’ve got to think about it is, if you’re paying £30m and we keep him for 10 years it’s money well spent.

“It’s a gamble, it’s an expensive gamble, but the kid – if you’re playing in the Championship and doing what he’s doing and looking the player he is – it’s a gamble, but a calculated one. I think he’s someone I would 100 per cent take.

“If I’m Man United now, go in and get him. You can understand why the likes of Borussia Dortmund are trying to get him, trying to take him. The kid seems to me to have it all.”





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