After a PR nightmare at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Tottenham Hotspur is not risking another one. According to The Athletic (£), Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will not ask the current Tottenham players to give up a percentage of their weekly wages in order to save money, at least not until there’s further clarity about how the 2019-20 season will end and the full financial picture becomes clearer.
While many Spurs players have voluntarily donated to a player-led charitable effort to support the National Health Service during the coronavirus crisis, some have been reluctant to agree to a voluntary pay cut from the club, with discussions taking place over the past month. Understandably, there are players who feel as though they’ve been underpaid compared to their colleagues at other clubs and don’t feel as though having their wages cut further is fair, even as football is cancelled and clubs are receiving no income.
The Athletic notes a fear about the financial implications from the football shutdown will be more keenly felt at Spurs than at some other top clubs because much of Tottenham’s income comes from “match day” revenue — not just football, but the other events that were scheduled to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Scheduled but now cancelled, postponed, or in limbo events include an Anthony Joshua title fight, NFL games, and a concert by Lady Gaga.
But despite player contributions being back up for discussion once the furloughing was reversed and it was confirmed that directors would still be taking pay cuts, Levy is not believed to have any current plans to take this conversation forward with the squad. Instead, Tottenham will be waiting for more clarity over elements like when the Premier League will resume before intensifying discussions. Some sources have even predicted that Spurs will be the last club to try to implement a policy on wage cuts or deferrals.
— The Athletic
That uncertainty is one reason Spurs were so quick to take advantage of the UK government’s furlough system, a decision that the club backed away from after fierce supporter backlash.
Any decision on player wages going forward is likely only to be agreed upon with full support from the Spurs players, and such an agreement could take a long time to hammer out. The Athletic notes that the issue of player contracts will be a topic of discussion during Friday’s Premier League shareholder’s meeting, and there could be further clarity on a path moving forward coming out of that discussion.