12:05PM, Wednesday 27 May 2020
Reading FC’s first team players are to defer a ‘substantial percentage’ of their wages over three months to help the club through the coronavirus pandemic.
Following complex discussions, players have agreed to volunteer part of their salary for May, June and July to help the club’s cash flow.
The Royals manager Mark Bowen agreed to a similar salary deferral in April.
Like other Championship clubs Reading returned to training this week with the view to recommencing the season later this summer. The season has been suspended for more than two months due to outbreak of COVID-19.
Reading are not the first club to see its players defer their wages. Championship leaders Leeds United were among the first in the second tier to voluntarily do so in March, just days after football was shut down across the country. A number of other clubs have taken the same stance since.
Reading have also made use of the government’s job retention scheme, with the women’s side, the men’s u23s side and a large number of the club’s non-playing staff having been placed on furlough.
Liam Moore, the club’s captain, said it was up to him to ensure his team mates were ‘100 per cent comfortable’ with what they were signing up to.
A statement on the club’s website said Reading were ‘very pleased’ the players had followed Bowen and chief execute Nigel Howe in agreeing to a deferral.
"Members of our first-team squad have recognised the severe impact this crisis is making within the world of football," it read.
Financial concerns for the future of a number of clubs in the EFL and non league have been raised in recent weeks.
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.