Soccer-Leeds players, coaches agree wage deferral so club staff can be paid

March 26 (Reuters) - Leeds United's players, coaching staff and senior management have voluntarily deferred their wages to ensure the club's 272 members of full-time and casual staff are paid in the coming months, the English second-tier club said on Thursday.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought sport to a virtual standstill worldwide and English soccer is suspended until at least April 30, with the hiatus hitting the revenue of clubs across the country.

Leeds said the lack of matches among other things will cost the club "several million pounds" each month, which led to coach Marcelo Bielsa and his squad deciding collectively to defer wages to keep the club running in "uncertain times."

"My players have demonstrated an incredible sense of unity and togetherness and I'm proud of their actions," Leeds' director of football Victor Orta said in a statement.

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

Globally, more than 470,800 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and over 21,200 have died, according to a Reuters tally. The United Kingdom has over 9,500 confirmed cases with 456 deaths.

With nine games left, Leeds are top of the Championship, one point ahead of West Bromwich Albion and seven ahead of third-placed Fulham with the top two automatically promoted.

Finishing between third and sixth would pit them against three other teams in the playoffs, where they failed to gain promotion after losing in the semi-finals last season. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru Editing by Toby Davis)

03/26/2020 10:26

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