Doncaster Rovers squad agree to wage deferral until football can be played in front of fans

The players of Doncaster Rovers have agreed a wage deferral until football can be played in front of crowds again.

By Liam Hoden
Friday, 22nd May 2020, 9:45 am
Updated Friday, 22nd May 2020, 5:18 pm
Ben Whiteman
Ben Whiteman

Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin says the move will help safeguard the future of the club.

While multiple clubs have seen their players agree to wage deferrals during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is rare for a group to do so for such an indefinite period.

It is not expected that supporters will return to stadiums for the remainder of 2020, with some suggestions that the entirety of next season could be played behind-closed-doors.

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During that period, the Rovers squad will see a portion of their wages held back.

It is understood the club’s more senior players played a major role in organising the agreement among the squad.

CEO Baldwin said: “We’d like to thank our players for their understanding at this time.

“To agree to defer their wages is a fantastic gesture from them and will make a huge difference to the sustainability of our football club.

“A return to football as we know it is clearly some way off and that means our main income stream, ticket sales, will be lost.

“The fact we have always strived to manage the club within its means, coupled with the Government’s assistance packages, have helped us to this point, but moving forward we may have some very difficult decisions to make.

“We are not free from risk in the long term if football is to be played behind closed doors for an extensive period and we have no income streams.

“However, I have been humbled by the actions I have already seen taken by members of our Doncaster Rovers family in the past two months.

“On top of the volunteering and fundraising for worthy causes, so much more is taking place to help our own club survive.

“The owners supported the club on day one of the crisis with additional funding in excess of six figures each. Players and staff have agreed to take pay deferrals and pay cuts, supporters are offering donations or buying additional products, and some of our corporate partners have already committed to next season, regardless of how it looks.

“These actions provide me with the confidence that if we can stay together as one, a united Doncaster Rovers family, then we will still have a club to support at the end of this terrible situation.

“I would like to thank everyone, all the fans and the staff, for their contributed patience and support and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Keepmoat Stadium once it is safe to do so.”

The players, like the majority of staff at the club, are currently on furlough, which sees 80 per cent of their wages covered by the government’s job retention scheme up to £2,500 per month.

Rovers are currently topping all staff wages up to 100 per cent and the agreement by the players will allow the club to continue to do so for other employees for the foreseeable future.

The furlough scheme was extended until October earlier this month but Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak suggested the amount covered by the government will begin to decrease from August.

Clubs are facing significant financial pressures due to the shutdown of the game, with income streams all but dry. The situation is only likely to grow tougher in the coming months, with any matches almost certain to be played without supporters present for the rest of 2020 at least.

More to follow

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