• AFP-Jiji


England's Chelsea has said it will not impose a pay cut on its first-team squad in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

But the Premier League side added Saturday that it had asked players to continue donating to charities during the ongoing pandemic.

It has been reported the west London club had been in talks with its players about a salary reduction of around 10 percent in a bid to reduce costs at a time when soccer has been suspended because of the virus.

That figure, however, is significantly lower than the Premier League's suggestion of 30 percent for all clubs.

But that has not stopped the Stamford Bridge side from its own course of action as it highlighted the #PlayersTogether initiative launched by Premier League players earlier this month, which aims to raise and distribute funds for charities supporting Britain's state-run National Health Service.

"We are grateful to the team for having played their role in assisting 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 supporting the NHS," said a club statement.

The statement added: "At this time, the men's first team will not be contributing towards the club financially and instead the board have directed the team to focus their efforts on further supporting other charitable causes."

The Blues also said they would not be taking advantage of the U.K. government's coronavirus job retention or furlough scheme, with casual workers and matchday staff being compensated by the club through to June 30.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa announced it had reached an agreement with players, first-team coaches and senior management to defer 25 percent of their salaries for four months.

But the Premier League strugglers added they would not be furloughing staff, with chief executive Christian Purslow saying: "Our players and staff feel great solidarity with the many clubs in the football pyramid who have financial problems.

"We believe it is right and proper that the Premier League as a whole takes action on its finances collectively to enable it to be able to continue to provide vital funding throughout the game in England."

Newcastle and Norwich are currently the only two Premier League clubs using the furlough for some of their non-playing staff, while Liverpool, Tottenham and Bournemouth were all forced into U-turns after their plans to use the scheme were met with widespread criticism.

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