Chelsea stars have unanimously agreed to take a £10million pay cut for the next four months to ease the club’s cash woes due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
A ten per cent pay cut kicks in starting from May and will run until the hoped-for start date of the new season in September.
Chelsea’s first-team squad agreed the deal via a group text sent by club captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
The 30-year-old skipper asked the players if they were willing to accept a straightforward pay cut right through the summer — and he received a resounding ‘Yes’ from the group.
Club manager Frank Lampard has already volunteered to have his salary slashed.
It is believed the club legend is ready to have his £5m-a-year pay packet reduced by £1.25m — a 25 per cent cut — while the Covid-19 pandemic rages.
Chelsea’s latest accounts show their annual wage bill stands at £285m, with a vast majority spent on the playing staff.
SunSport can also reveal the players are content to simply swallow the loss. There are no payback clauses relating to Champions League or Europa League qualification as is the case with their London rivals Arsenal.
Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League with nine games to go but the squad will not get a penny back from the club, even if they hang on to claim a top-four finish.
It is also believed director and transfer expert, Marina Granovskaia, will take a 25 per cent pay cut in line with Lampard.
The club made a £96m loss according to their latest financial results and the players appreciate this.
Negotiations were conducted on an amicable basis between the dressing room and board room.
However, questions were raised about how the savings would be put to use. A Blues source said: “The players totally get it about the need to save cash and are buying into it.
“But with every arrangement like this, they want to make sure their money will be used directly to help the club.
“Let’s just say it wouldn’t be too well received if the players took a pay cut to help pay the bills, then Chelsea went out and splashed a fortune on new players when the next transfer window opens.
“It’s why things can take time.”
Chelsea have been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.
Owner Roman Abramovich handed over his hotel at the club’s Stamford Bridge stadium to NHS workers and is feeding them from the vast kitchens in the East Stand.
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