Western Morning News

Sheffield United squad agree wage deferral


SHEFFIELD United players have agreed a wage deferral until the end of 2020 as the coronaviru­s crisis continues to disrupt sport, with two major events in the rugby league calendar newly affected.

The Blades first-team squad have followed the lead of manager Chris Wilder, his backroom staff and the club’s chief executive Stephen Bettis in accepting terms on holding part of their wages and bonus back during the pandemic.

Bettis said on the club’s official website: “This announceme­nt follows positive and constructi­ve discussion­s throughout the club, taking into account the severity of the situation that the country finds itself in at the moment.

“It is a difficult period for everyone, but our football club also needs to be taken care of and I’m delighted that the players want to mirror the gesture of Chris and the staff by contributi­ng, it confirms that they care about Sheffield United.

“The players should be commended, not only for this action, but also for their role in the £playerstog­ether initiative with other Premier League clubs.”

The Betfred Super League’s Dacia Magic Weekend – where all 12 teams play at the same venue – was earlier postponed.

The games were due to be held at St James’ Park in Newcastle on May 23-24 but organisers now hope to stage the event at a later date.

The second-tier equivalent, which was due to be staged at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road the following weekend, has been cancelled.

The Rugby Football League stated that Championsh­ip clubs agreed there was “no realistic prospect of staging the event as planned this year”.

The cost of the pandemic to Cricket Australia has been confirmed as about £10million but the losses could be more severe if a four-Test series against India, scheduled to start in October, becomes another sporting event cancelled due to coronoviru­s .

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