Players face 50pc wage cuts if City’s relegation is confirmed - report
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Wage cuts of 50 percent are reportedly looming for Norwich City’s players if relegation from the Premier League is confirmed, as is looking highly likely.
Relegation wage cuts will come as little surprise to Canaries supporters, due to the financial problems which followed relegation from the top flight in 2016 - while such cuts are common place at many clubs.
However, national newspaper The Sun is reporting that those cuts will be as high as 50 percent, stating that is higher than the norm as relegation cuts are usually between 25 and 40 percent.
City made a £38million loss for the 2018-19 financial year, exacerbated by a promotion bonus pot which had reportedly been worth around £20m, during the club’s first season without parachute payments following that 2016 relegation.
However, the Canaries’ senior staff had forecast a profit in the region of £16m for 2019-20 at the club’s AGM in November, after opting to not splash the cash or borrow against future income, keeping risks low in the pursuit of top-flight survival.
That was before the coronavirus pandemic forced a three-month suspension of the season and a resumption behind closed doors though. Initially City were bracing for a loss of expected income of between £18m and £35m due to the pandemic, although it’s understood that the season resuming without spectators has at least kept the loss towards the lower end of that scale.
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The Canaries rewarded their promotion winning squad with 14 players signing new contracts. Timm Klose, Marco Stiepermann, Tim Krul, Onel Hernandez, Kenny McLean, Ben Godfrey, Todd Cantwell, Teemu Pukki, Adam Idah, Emi Buendia, Christoph Zimmermann, Tom Trybull, Max Aarons and Mario Vrancic all signed new deals.
In the Championship it’s believed City had a wage ceiling of £10,000 per week but The Sun’s article reports that most players saw wages increase to between £25,000 and £30,000 a week - pointing out that the Premier League average is £61,000.
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The report highlights Steven Naismith as an example of the problems of 2016, claiming the January 2016 signing was on £50,000 a week but didn’t have a relegation clause - and that he even received a £1million bonus after the club’s promotion in 2019 despite having been on loan at Hearts for 18 months.
Such financial hangovers contributed heavily to City treading carefully, despite Huddersfield making £96.6m over the course of their relegation campaign during 2018-19, when they finished bottom - with parachute payments to follow.
Although the only permanent fees paid out for players were around £750,000 for Sam Byram in July and £500,000 for Lukas Rupp in January, the club’s annual accounts showed the true cost when combined with business such as the loan signings of Ralf Fahrmann, Patrick Roberts and Ibrahim Amadou.
This showed the club’s summer transfer business as being worth £6.2m, with the potential for a further £4.7m dependent on club and/or player performance. That did not include the loan signing of Ondrej Duda from Hertha Berlin in January.
The report comes ahead of tonight’s game away to survival rivals Watford, with Daniel Farke’s squad sitting seven points from safety with five games remaining after five consecutive defeats.
Defeat would leave Norwich on the verge of relegation and knowing that defeat to West Ham on Saturday would confirm their fate.