Leeds United staff volunteer for wage deferral because of coronavirus outbreak

Leeds United players
Leeds United have won each of their past five matches in the Championship

Leeds United's players, coaching staff and senior management have volunteered to take a wage deferral because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boss Marcelo Bielsa and his players will give up part of their wages "for the forseeable future".

The Championship leaders say the move will ensure that all 272 full-time non-football staff can continue to be paid.

And the club expect the effects of the virus will cost them "several million pounds" each month.

"My players have demonstrated an incredible sense of unity and togetherness," said director of football Victor Orta.

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

Championship leaders Leeds are seven points clear of third-placed Fulham as they look to return to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years.

As well as the postponement of fixtures at Elland Road because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Leeds say they will lose money through the cancellation of events and the "closure of the football financing market".

The Yorkshire club are the latest to announce measures to lower wages, with Birmingham City asking players to defer half of their salaries for four months and League Two Forest Green Rovers saying they will use the government's wage-support scheme to keep paying "all their staff".

Leeds believe the money saved by the wages deferral will also mean "the majority of casual staff" can continue to be paid.

"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," said the first-team squad in a joint statement.

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