Hull players set to agree compromise deferral plan over wages

Hull City’s players are close to an agreement which would see them defer a quarter of their wages for the next four months.

Hull City players.

It is three weeks since the squad was asked to accept a 20 per cent pay cut, something the Tigers’ staff signed up to, but the players did not. Now a compromise is expected to be reached which will see the players defer 25 per cent of their wages until August.

The payment of deferred wages would then take place in the last four months of 2020.

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Like many Football League clubs, the Tigers are facing a cashflow crisis brought about by the suspension of matches.

Hull have not played at home since February and whilst no date has yet been set for the return of English football after the coronavirus pandemic, June is thought to be the best-case scenario. Even then, matches are expected to be played behind closed doors, depriving clubs of ticket money and other sources of matchday revenue.

If the season cannot be completed, there is always the danger broadcasters and other sponsors may ask for a rebate on undelivered contracts.

Because of the uncertainty and the troubled financial climate, the club have held off collecting club membership fees next month, which will cost them around £200,000.

They did, however, receive a £14m downpayment for the sale of top-scorer Jarrod Bowen to West Ham United in January. The deal was only signed off after the transfer deadline, meaning the money was not reinvested.

Hull have furloughed a number of non-playing staff and put others on reduced hours.

The uncertainty is particularly acute at the KCOM Stadium at the moment. Owner Assem Allam is looking to sell the club, which is only two points above the relegation zone with nine matches to play if and when the 2019-20 season is able to resume. The club have 10 first-teamers out of contract on June 30, and as yet no provision has been made for what will happen to those contracts if the season extends beyond that date. The Football League’s contingency plan is working on the basis of a 56-day window to play all outstanding matches, including play-off games, which Hull will not be involved with.

The Tigers also have five players on loan until the end of the season but again, it is not known if that will be the scheduled or rearranged end.

That uncertainty on the part of the players only made pay cuts harder to agree to.

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