Fleet­wood

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Covid Crisis - Chris Bas­combe

For League One play­ers, the fi­nan­cial hit of Covid-19 has had se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions. Joey Bar­ton, the Fleet­wood Town man­ager, of­fered a graphic il­lus­tra­tion of how even the high­est earn­ers have had wages slashed in half as clubs seek to avoid crip­pling losses.

“Our top earner last sea­son would have earned around £3,000 a week. Now we can pay maybe £1,500 a week,” Bar­ton re­vealed. Across the scale, the al­ready yawn­ing gap has widened be­tween the Premier League stars – whose salaries may have been de­ferred but not re­duced dur­ing last sea­son’s lock­down – and those strug­gling to make a liv­ing from the game in the lower lev­els.

“There are sides in our league who are of­fer­ing £400, £500, £600 and £700 a week be­cause they have no fans in,” said Bar­ton. “If we don’t have fans back, clubs are go­ing to be severely ham­pered, if not forced to the wall.”

In their last set of ac­counts for 2018-19 – pub­lished in April and pre­ced­ing the im­pact of the Covid-19 pan­demic – the club re­vealed they em­ploy 50 play­ing staff and 165 non-play­ing staff, with their col­lec­tive salaries amount­ing to £6.29mil­lion. The club re­ported losses of £6mil­lion, with the club re­liant on the fi­nan­cial in­put of owner and direc­tor Andy Pil­ley.

What loss of match-day rev­enue will mean League One

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