Chelsea stars to agree pay cut with players under pressure due to coronavirus – EXCLUSIVE

The players, led by skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, have been in talks with the club for last ten days trying to thrash out a deal. Now both sides are set to agree the deal over the weekend, with the players promised that once the coronavirus crisis has ended, the pay cut will be restored.

The talks begin after the Premier League and clubs had asked players to accept a 30 per cent across the board cut to help out in the crisis, two weeks ago.

However, players resisted such a move, backed by the PFA, and instead they were left to reach agreement with their clubs individually.

Chelsea’s move, which looks set to be agreed amicably between club and players in the next few days, follows Arsenal’s players hours earlier finally agreeing a 12.5 per cent cut – after initially rejecting the deal offered by their club.

But the deal was sweetened after the players were offered a remarkable Champions League bonus plan.

The Gunners players will get their money reimbursed if they qualify for next season’s Champions League – plus a £100,000 bonus.

And, after manager Mikel Arteta took a personal role in talks between the club and the players on Wednesday, the Gunners squad are being offered £500,000 each if they win the Champions League in 2021 – or £100,000 each if they win the Europa League.

The newly drawn up agreement also means if they qualify for the Champions League for the 2021-22 season then they will get all of their money back.

The Arsenal players are set to agree the deal after crunch talks involving Arteta on Wednesday.

Chelsea meanwhile announced that they are opening up a second hotel at their Stamford Bridge ground, the 160-room Copthorne Hotel, for the use of NHS staff.

Premier League sides held talks on Friday over when games will return.


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When matches return, they could be played behind closed doors.

Chelsea star Willian has been vocal on the plan, claiming playing behind closed doors still holds major risks for players.

He said: “If we restart playing without fans but there’s contact on the pitch, maybe we spread the virus between us.

“They have to think very carefully what’s going to happen. Maybe a player can have the virus, and we play against each other?

“I play against someone and I get the virus, then I go home after the game to my family and pass the virus on to my wife or daughters. We have to be careful.”

Willians revealed how worried the Chelsea squad were when England starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus last month, saying: “We shook hands and hugged each other. So after that when he tested positive, everyone was worried. But none of us felt any symptoms.”

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