April 25, 2020 / 5:03 PM / a month ago

Aston Villa players, coaching staff accept 25% wage deferrals

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Leicester City v Aston Villa - King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain - March 9, 2020 Aston Villa's Frederic Guilbert and team mates before the match REUTERS/Andrew Yates/File Photo

(Reuters) - Aston Villa’s players and first-team coaches and senior management have agreed to defer 25% of their wages for four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier League club said on Saturday.

Villa are the latest top-flight club to announce wage deferrals for players, following similar steps by Southampton, West Ham United, Watford and Sheffield United.

Soccer in England was suspended indefinitely last month due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

"First-team players, first-team coaches and senior management have all agreed to defer 25% of their salaries for four months to assist the club during this period of uncertainty," Villa CEO Christian Purslow said here

He added that a further review would take place at the end of the initial four-month period.

Arsenal have announced a 12.5% pay cut for players and coaching staff since the suspension, while Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth reversed initial decisions to furlough non-playing staff in the wake of criticism.

Earlier on Saturday, Norwich City defended their decision to furlough staff, while Chelsea said their first-team squad would not be taking pay cuts or wage deferrals.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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