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Coronavirus pandemic forces Needham Market to cut wages in half

Needham Market FC has revealed its intention to pay the first team squad and support staff 50 per cent of their wages in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bloomfields-based club will back-date payments to when the BetVictor Southern League was initially suspended earlier this month, and they will run through until the season's original end date of April 25.

Chief executive Graham Emmerson said in a statement on the club's website: "You are all aware of the exceptional circumstances that we now find ourselves in and it is necessary to take action in order to protect the future of the football club.

Bloomfields - Needham Market home ground - overhead image. Picture: Contributed (32250633)
Bloomfields - Needham Market home ground - overhead image. Picture: Contributed (32250633)

"Every well run club has a contingency fund in order to deal with a downturn or difficult times, but unfortunately the current situation is very serious and unprecedented measures are required.

"We propose therefore that all 1st Team Players & Support Staff irrespective of their employment status (employed or self employed) will be paid 50% of their gross remuneration from period that the League was suspended until original end date of the season.

"With regard to the Government proposition to remit 80% of salaries we will have to wait for further information on this e.g. 1) does it apply to the self employed? 2) Is the 80% relevant to main employment only? Be assured that we will investigate this payment on behalf of each of you individually, and should this be received your remuneration will be paid in full.

"You are aware that we wanted to communicate the above to you all at a meeting which is now not permitted under government guidelines, and should anybody wish to discuss this please ring Graham on 07768 082783.

"We trust that you appreciate that we are doing the very best for you and thank you all in anticipation of your continued support."

* Further developments as to whether or not the 2019/20 non-league football season will be concluded are expected to be announced later this week.