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Sports Briefs

Published:Sunday | April 26, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Chelsea’s Mason Mount celebrates with Olivier Giroud (right) after scoring the opening goal during an English Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge stadium in London.

Aston Villa players agree on 25 per cent pay cut

Aston Villa players will take a 25 per cent pay cut to help the English Premier League club during the coronavirus outbreak.

“First-team players, first-team coaches and senior management have all agreed to defer 25 per cent of their salaries for four months to assist the club during this period of uncertainty, with a further review taking place at the end of this period,” club chief executive Christian Purslow said in a statement.

It was also announced that a National Health Service trust is to offer maternity care at Villa’s home ground in Birmingham, following the success of a similar tie-up with nearby West Bromwich Albion.

The Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust said Villa Park’s North Stand would host weekday clinics for expectant mothers and new parents from Monday.


No pay cut at Chelsea

English Premier League team Chelsea say they will not impose a pay cut on their first-team squad and instead will ask players to continue their support for charities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chelsea also said they will not be furloughing any full-time staff, and casual workers and match day employees are being compensated by the club through to June 30.

The Blues have been in negotiations with their players about a salary reduction, reportedly around 10 per cent, in an effort to save money during the current crisis. That is lower than the Premier League’s suggestion of 30 per cent for all clubs, but Chelsea have now decided to take a different approach.

Highlighting the PlayersTogether initiative launched by Premier League players earlier this month, which aims to raise and distribute funds for National Health Service charities, Chelsea told its stars to focus their efforts on other causes.

“Representatives of the Chelsea board have recently held extensive talks with the men’s first team to discuss how they can contribute financially to the club during the coronavirus crisis," a statement on the club website said. “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 further supporting other charitable causes.”


Post-lockdown talks on in Britain

The British government is increasing planning with sports bodies about the resumption of events once the coronavirus national lockdown is eased.

Government medical officials are involved in the talks about the logistics and health procedures required to allow sports competitions to restart.

The Premier League last played a game on March 9 and has plans to try to restart from June 8 once pandemic social-distancing regulations are relaxed to allow training to resume for teams and there are sufficient COVID-19 tests available.

The national lockdown is currently in place until May 7. Cricket authorities have already said their sport won’t resume until July, but horse racing is currently only suspended until June.

British Horseracing Authority chair Annamarie Phelps tweeted yesterday about “very welcome support for the resumption of live sport incl horseracing” from Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, linking to a front-page report from The Sun newspaper about plans for events to be staged again.

Dowden updated legislators earlier this week on his talks with sports governing bodies.