Chelsea fail to reach agreement with players in ongoing wage reduction talks

Chelsea have still not reached an agreement with their first-team players over pay cuts after rejecting a proposed reduction put forward by the captain, César Azpilicueta.

The club insists negotiations are both amicable and continuing, but after originally asking players to take the 30% cut suggested by the Premier League during the coronavirus crisis, Chelsea are unwilling to agree to the offer made, which is less than the 12.5% agreed by Arsenal players. Unlike the Arsenal agreement, which contained performance incentives, the Chelsea players’ offer was believed to be unconditional and designed to last until the beginning of next season.

Frank Lampard has not been involved in discussions about possible pay cuts, with the head coach preferring not to take sides between players and club management, but after “extensive talks” between Azpilicueta and Chelsea’s chief executive Marina Granovskaia, the situation remains unresolved.

Chelsea’s impasse is in stark contrast to Aston Villa whose first-team coaches and senior management have agreed to defer 25% of their salaries for four months.
The club’s chief executive, Christian Purslow, said: “Our players and staff feel great solidarity with the many clubs in the football pyramid who have financial problems and we believe it is right and proper that the Premier League as a whole takes action on its finances collectively to enable it to be able to continue to provide vital funding throughout the game in England.”

Chelsea are not furloughing any non-playing staff and have promised to keep paying the full wages of casual and matchday workers until 30 June, but the players remain on full pay with the club merely encouraging them to keep up their charitable donations.

A statement on the club website on Saturday read: “At this time the men’s first team will not be contributing towards the club financially and instead the board have directed the team to focus their efforts on supporting charitable causes.

“As this crisis develops the club will continue to have conversations with the men’s first team regarding financial contributions. We are grateful to the team for having played their role in assisting the club with community activities.

“The club can also confirm we will not be taking advantage of the government’s current coronavirus job retention scheme which runs to 30 June. We are not planning any general redundancies or furloughs for our full-time staff. Casual workers and match day staff employed by the club are being compensated by us through 30 June as if matches had been played and we had been operating as normal.”