Mark Bowen has announced on BBC Radio Berkshire that Reading’s players have agreed a wage deferral in light of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the club’s finances.
Speaking to Tim Dellor, the Royals boss said:
“I’ve spoken closely with the players right from the start, and it wasn’t a case that they didn’t want to do anything. They wanted to do it, but they wanted to do it for the right reasons and in the right context.
“As much as I’m aware, I think something will be announced in the next few days by the club to say that an agreement has been reached with the players. Personally I don’t know the absolute details of that, but I know there has been an agreement reached.
“Each individual club has got their own problems with cash flows and whatever, it’s certainly good news for Reading Football Club.”
In an Instagram direct message to a supporter earlier this week, captain Liam Moore said:
“It’s something that’s been ongoing. It took weeks for the club to send us a proposal through. Then our representatives (the PFA) asked for a few documents. Standard stuff and that’s only today [18 May] been returned so hopefully it can get wrapped up soon. The players aren’t not taking a deferral like people think. These things can just take time.”
It was announced in April that Bowen, CEO Nigel Howe and a number of other members of senior level staff has “volunteered to defer significant percentages of their salary” for April, May and June, leaving many supporters wondering when the playing squad would follow suit.
The majority of other Championship sides have made similar agreements with their players, with The Telegraph reporting that most of the temporary reductions are around 25 per cent. However, a portion of clubs - including West Brom, Preston, Stoke City and Middlesbrough - want those who have agreed deferrals to be given transfer bans.
Reading’s latest set of accounts revealed that the club’s wage bill totalled £40.7 million in 2018-19, meaning they spent £225 on wages for every £100 of income - a Championship record. Although we don’t know how figure changed over last summer, the likes of George Puscas, Lucas Joao and Rafael are all likely to be on high salaries. The club made an overall loss of £30.1 million in 2018-19.