Birmingham City players asked to defer 50% of wages during coronavirus pandemic

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Birmingham City are 16th in the Championship with 47 points from 37 matches

Birmingham City have asked their players to take wage deferrals because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those earning more than £6,000 per week have been asked to accept a 50% cut for the next four months by the club - the first to do so in the Championship.

The squad will be paid back in stages once the league campaign resumes.

League Two Forest Green Rovers have said they will use the government's wage-support scheme to keep paying "all their staff".

Birmingham are the first club in the Championship to take such steps since the suspension of elite football across England earlier in March, but it is understood they will not be alone among EFL sides.

The Telegraph reported earlier on Tuesday that Blues had sent an email to agents asking for their help with the request and it is understood that the players are receptive to the proposal in such unprecedented times for the wider game.

Forest Green 'in hibernation'

On Friday, the government announced it would pay 80% of salaries for any staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month, across the country.

It is this offer that Forest Green are taking up, as they say they are going in to "hibernation" as a club until football can resume.

The Gloucestershire club said in a statement: "Our staff have been unable to work since the shutdown. This decision recognises that and puts the club in to hibernation.

"We are also seeking government guidance about what we can do to support our casual staff.

"As a result, there will be minimal social updates on all of our channels until we're open and football is back.

"Stay safe, stay home and we'll speak soon."

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