Brighton player wage reduction talks 'parked' as club assess huge financial losses

Albion have placed a temporary hold on player wage reduction talks as the club continue to assess the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, 22nd May 2020, 7:21 am

Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber was leading discussions with senior first team members Glenn Murray and Lewis Dunk, who are acting as representatives to the players.

Brighton have not received any match day income from the Amex since February and the players were last in competitive action on March 6 in the 0-0 draw at Wolves.

Barber was initially optimistic an agreement could be reached the week after Easter but the players, who returned to 'stage one' training this week, remain on full pay.

Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber

Brighton's highest earning non-playing staff members technical director Dan Ashworth, head coach Graham Potter and Barber agreed to 'significant' pay cuts swiftly after the Premier League was suspended.

Reaching an agreement with the playing staff however has proved more problematic and adds greatly to the financial losses the club - and chairman Tony Bloom - absorb at this challenging time.

Barber said: "Very openly and transparently we agreed with Glenn and Lewis that we will park those discussions, until we had a much clearer insight on what return to play will look like and when it might be.

"At that point we will have a clearer idea of potential losses we will be suffering - over and above what our budgeted losses would be.

"When we have that, we can share it with them openly and transparently and that will then enable us to have a foundation of which to pick up the discussion. We have parked them until we have more clarity."

Is Barber disappointed a resolution could not be reached sooner?

"Players are first of all contracted with guarantees," said the chief executive. "I didn't expect suddenly for people to give-up a contractual right overnight.

"I also think it is fair for them to understand the extent of our losses before they contemplated what contribution they might make.

"At the time we started those discussions, things were still at an early stage in this crisis and we didn't know what we were facing and we still don't.

"We now know the rest of this season will be behind closed doors, we don't know yet how much of next season.

"The losses we are facing are emerging week by week as we go through.

"It would make sense to draw a line in the sand once we have a picture of this season and then we can talk to them again."

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