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Deferral discussions ‘a mature process’

Tony Mowbray was pleased with the way his players conducted themselves over their wages

4 May 2020

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Rovers boss Tony Mowbray was pleased to see the players ‘step up’ when asked about deferring their wages in order to safeguard the club and ease the financial burden on the Owners.

Following detailed discussions between the players, football management and senior executives at the club, it was announced last week that they had agreed to defer between 33% and 50% of their wages for the next three months.

Mowbray believes it was a necessary step to ensure employees at the club continue to be paid, with the players particularly keen to support the backroom staff at Brockhall, who make the training ground ‘tick’.

“First and foremost, you have to say, they’re never easy conversations,” said the manager.

“Yes they’re deferrals, but still that is taking from people’s wage packets for the next three months and then we’ll reassess.

“It’s never easy to ask that because everyone has got their own outgoings every month.

“Some people live week to week and some people have got savings, and it’s very difficult, as the EFL are finding, to come up with a common percentage of a deferral for everybody, because everyone’s got different ways of how they spend their money or save their money.

“That was the case for us. There was a lot of talking. I’d have to say, the players had a very good ear for listening. Elliott Bennett was top on my speed dial and I have to say he’s been fantastic at getting the lads all together.

“We’ve had lots of Zoom meetings with the players and with Steve Waggott, just stressing the reasons why, the percentages we were trying to negotiate and the players were given their voice.

“I thought it was a very mature process all the way through. Maybe a dozen Zoom meetings over the last three or four weeks, back and forth.

“The main reasons … for the football club really. The safeguarding of the football club and the safeguarding of the people’s jobs at the football club.

“The players were talking about the people that they work with every day. The laundry lady, the chefs, the groundstaff. The people that are really, really important that are never really noticed in football clubs, that make the building tick and that make you smile and that get you up again after a bad weekend.

“I think it was very important just to get the cash flow right for the next few months. I know that India, where our Owners are based, is on a total lockdown and there’s not a lot of work happening on the farms, so it was about managing the cash flow.

“We’re just trying to make the money go further if we can, because we’re not asking too much of the Owners at the moment until they get their business back up and running, and the players understood that and came forward and stepped up.”

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