The first-team team at Chelsea FC has not been asked to pay, the first-team team at Chelsea has been asked to support “charitable causes” rather than financially contribute to the club during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Premier League has been on hiatus due to the Covid-19 crisis for more than a month and the situation is impacting club finances due to a lack of entry receipts and other game day revenue.
Some clubs chose to take full advantage of the UK government’s unlicensed job retention scheme that would have seen the state pay up to 80 percent of workers’ wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
However, of the clubs that took that option, only Norwich City and Newcastle United have not reversed their decision, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Bournemouth making U-turns.
As an alternative to state support, across Europe many clubs have agreed to temporary pay cuts or deferrals with their players.
But Chelsea, which is owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, is not going either way, confirming that it will continue to pay staff in the usual way, while the players have been led to support charities rather than financially to the club.
Regarding the gaming staff, Chelsea’s statement said: “Chelsea board representatives have recently had extensive discussions with the men’s first team to discuss how they can contribute financially to the club during the coronavirus crisis.
“The goal of these talks has been to find a meaningful partnership to ensure job preservation for staff, compensate fans, and participate in activities for good causes.
“We are grateful to the team for having played their part in helping the club with community activities, as well as all the charitable causes they have been supporting in their respective home countries and through the Players Together initiative that supports the NHS [ National Health Service].
“At this time, the men’s first team will not contribute financially to the club and instead the board has directed the team to focus its efforts on further supporting other charitable causes.”
“As this crisis unfolds, the club will continue to have discussions with the first men’s team about financial contributions to the club’s activities.”
He added: “The club can confirm that we will not take advantage of the government’s current Coronavirus job retention scheme, which runs until June 30. We are not planning general layoffs or licenses for our full-time staff, which continue to be paid 100 percent of your current wages.
“Occasional workers and the staff of the days employed by the club are being compensated by us until June 30 as if the games had been played and we had been operating normally.
“We continue with our current level of financial and other support for our professional players and also for our women’s academy programs.
“Our women’s team and staff have been very supportive of our charitable activities during this crisis, which has been appreciated by both the club and the respective charities.”