Financial fears for City but wage deferrals are not being considered yet
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The stark financial impact of football’s coronavirus shutdown on Norwich City is made clear today, with club bosses preparing for a loss potentially as high as £35million - but player wage deferrals are not on the table, yet.
The Canaries are budgeting for a loss of between £18m and £35m but the various uncertainties surrounding the completion of the 2019-20 season mean careful financial planning is required, with the threat of relegation still very real.
City have furloughed 200 non-playing staff and 80 percent of those wages are being covered by the government, with the club paying the remaining 20pc. Liverpool, Tottenham and Bournemouth were among the clubs to initially use the scheme before rolling back their decision due to public outcry but those clubs are far wealthier and City have stuck to their guns.
Players and senior staff have donated to a £200,000 fund for community work being carried out during the pandemic while players have also signed up to the Players Together scheme, a national fund through which Premier League players are raising funds for the NHS - because wage cuts would lose the government huge amounts in tax.
City’s sporting director, Stuart Webber, said: “It almost became an obsession of putting the footballers out on the street and they all have to have a sign saying how much money they’ve given back. We took a completely different approach.”
City’s senior staff laid out their financial reality in a web chat with players this week.
Webber explained: “As we sit here today we don’t know when we’re going to play football again, we don’t know when the season is going to end, if there’s going to be fans or not be fans.
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“So it’s very, very difficult to say that we are definitely going to lose this, which means we need to reclaim X amount. Until that time comes and we get more clarity, we won’t be talking to any of our players or staff about deferrals or cuts. However, once the picture becomes clear, there is going to be an amount of money that is lost and of course we are going to have to talk to our players and staff around, what can we collectively do to try and fix this.
“Will the conversation at some point turn towards deferrals? More than likely, yes, because if you look at the landscape of where things are going in the world, of course.
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“But what we felt was important was that, fortunately we’re not in a major rush from a cashflow point of view, so we have got a little bit of time to really assess the situation, to really communicate properly - and I’ve got to say that the players and the staff have been an absolute credit to the club during this period.”
- Check back to this website for more from City’s executive committee on the club’s financial challenges throughout today, or pick up a copy of the Eastern Daily Press or Norwich Evening News