The Premier League’s immediate future remains in limbo, but Chelsea continue to respond magnificently, with today’s official statement on the club website confirming continuing full pay for all non-playing staff, and full pay for casual matchday and hospitality staff as well until the original end of the season on June 30.
Previous reports indicated that those wages would be paid in full through the end of April, but with the end of the month less than a week away, it’s fantastic to see the club confirm that they’re maintaining the status quo for at least two more months. No furloughs at Stamford Bridge!
It’s especially heartening to see that happen despite the club failing to agree wage cuts with the players. The official statement paints this as a club decision, with the players thanked for their support during this time but directed just to continue contributing to the various charitable causes run by the Chelsea Foundation (including the joint effort with Refuge against domestic violence) or by the PFA (#PlayersTogether). Media reports unsurprisingly put a more negative spin on things, with the Guardian claiming that the club “unwilling to approve” the players’ offer, which is “believed to be” less than the 10 per cent reported by trusted Chelsea voices earlier this week.
The truth, as always, probably lies somewhere in the middle, but as long as the club continue to pay non-playing staff in full, it’s not a huge deal that the players are getting their money as well. As per the statement, the negotiations with the players (led by captain César Azpilicueta) will continue as the crisis develops and, presumably, especially if the situation gets much worse or we encounter even further delays or cancelations.
In other great news from Chelsea, the club have confirmed refunds for unused portions of season tickets as well as already purchased individual game and hospitality tickets. Chelsea are also offering up to £350 in travel reimbursement for those who had already made plans to fly to Munich for the Champions League Round of 16 second leg that was set to be held on March 18 but remains postponed indefinitely. (UEFA are kicking around plans to finish off the 2019-20 Champions League maybe in August?)
This is all in addition to Chelsea’s efforts in supporting the healthcare system in this time of crisis with free hotel rooms (128 used, as per the statement), free parking, and free meals (increased from 78,000 to 81,000). The Chelsea Foundation are also helping with home-schooling and home-care, with various educational workbooks and drop-in online video clinics.
There’s a lot to be proud of here from our club, and that’s before we get to all the social media engagement and retro video content on the club’s various channels! Exemplary response, most of which don’t make headlines because good news don’t sell.
The club’s lengthy statement in full can be read on the official website.
The board of Chelsea Football Club would like to update our fans, our staff, our community and our other stakeholders of certain actions the club is taking during the coronavirus crisis...— Chelsea FC - #StayHomeSaveLives (@ChelseaFC) April 25, 2020