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Sport The Business of Sport


Baggies’ chief sacrifices salary as club battles crisis


West Bromwich Albion chief executive Mark Jenkins has given up his salary as the club battles to deal with the fallout from coronavirus. The Baggies boss said that it was


the right thing to do while football was in the grip of the crisis. He said that he had made his decision because while income at the club had been extinguished, bills still had to be paid. He added that other senior management figures had also offered to make salary sacrifices, as had other staff.


‘Our operations are almost completely closed down and we are receiving virtually no income’


He said: “At the moment, the club


is financially stable and remains so for the foreseeable future. “But everybody is fully aware


these are very uncertain times in which we simply cannot forecast what the future holds. Until we regain a level of certainty, we cannot be sure if planned income will actually be received or if we will be forced to utilise cash the club already holds to refund existing commitments. “What we do know is that our


operations are almost completely closed down and we are receiving


Pay cut: Mark Jenkins


Edgbaston hosts Covid-19 testing


Edgbaston Stadium has become a drive-through Covid-19 testing station for NHS staff. The NHS staff testing centre is positioned on Edgbaston’s main on-site car park. NHS staff will drive in through the Edgbaston Road entrance, be tested while remaining in their vehicle and exit the grounds onto Pershore Road. Neil Snowball, chief executive of


Warwickshire CCC, said: “With our county cricket programme and conference and events business closed until 29 May, our staff have been exploring various options which enable the club to keep supporting our local community during these difficult times. “Whilst it is a small part to play


virtually no income. Almost all of the club’s usual costs still need to be paid, the majority of which are wages, whether this be admin staff, maintenance teams, management or, of course, the first-team players. “With that in mind, I think it is


only correct that for the duration of this lockdown I take a 100 per cent cut in my salary and other members of the senior management team have also offered to take significant reductions in their remuneration. “Like many other clubs we have


considered using a furlough approach with non-playing staff who are now unable to work owing to the lockdown and we have made plans for this eventuality. “At present we have not been


required to sanction this action, but


if the lockdown continues and football remains ‘on-hold’ then this decision may have to be changed. “What we will pledge is to


ensure none of the staff affected suffer a reduction in pay – the club will make up the 20 per cent shortfall not covered by the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. “Nothing underlines the spirit of


our staff, or the commitment they have for Albion, than to tell you that several have volunteered to take pay cuts in order they help the club navigate a way through these difficulties. It says everything about the core values which run through our staff for which I and all the senior management team are both mindful and appreciative.”


in the grand scheme of things, we are pleased that our stadium can be utilised to support the fantastic efforts being made by all of our NHS staff in response to the coronavirus crisis.


*Burton Albion has opened a drive- through testing centre for key workers at Pirelli Stadium. The centre is now swab testing


key workers who have displayed Covid-19 symptoms or who live in a household where someone has symptoms. Dr Richard Harling, who is


leading the multi-agency coronavirus response across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, said: “This centre and another at Stoke City FC will play a really important role in keeping our communities safe.”


Wasps give fans a buzz with player calls


Coventry-based top tier rugby club Wasps has launched a campaign to help keep its fans connected and motivated during the coronavirus lockdown. The #MakeThatCall campaign has involved


the club’s players phoning supporters, including older fans and those working for the NHS. Other leading clubs have joined the campaign. Among the first calls was player Jimmy


Gopperth, who called life-long Wasps supporter, Peter Keith to wish him a happy 85th birthday. Peter’s daughter, Alex had heard about the


#MakeThatCall campaign and not being able to celebrate his 85th birthday due to the lockdown, she wanted to make his day feel special. She said: “It’s a really tough time for everyone


at the moment and just to hear a friendly voice is so important. When I heard about the campaign, I wanted to do something nice for


Make that call: Wasps fans before rugby was suspended


my dad who has supported Wasps all his life. My love of rugby is inspired by my father. I


think it’s great what Premiership Rugby teams across the country are doing, and to remind us all that we can do our bit too by simply picking


up the phone or texting someone to make them feel connected at such an uncertain time. Dad was over the moon to speak to Jimmy.” Exeter-based Peter was delighted when he


picked up the phone and spoke to Jimmy. He said: “I went to my first Wasps game when I was 11 and to receive a call like this really made my day.” Jimmy said: “Peter has supported Wasps for


more than 70 years – to be able to give something back to him just with a simple call really brought home to me the power of such a gesture that we take for granted. So please do pick up the phone and #MakeThatCall to someone you think would appreciate it. That is what this club is all about.” Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Saracens, Bath


Rugby and Gloucester Rugby are among Premiership rugby clubs to join the campaign.


May 2020 CHAMBERLINK 69


Sector Focus


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