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.
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