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Cuts must come: Inevitable that players' wages will be hit - Ward

 

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Stephen Ward is weighing up a move to League One side Ipswich Town. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Stephen Ward is weighing up a move to League One side Ipswich Town. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Stephen Ward is weighing up a move to League One side Ipswich Town. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Irish veteran Stephen Ward admits that pay cuts or wage deferrals are inevitable as football clubs struggle to cope with the financial impact of COVID-19.

UEFA president Alexander Ceferin warned yesterday that the current season will be "lost" if football is not able to resume in June.

He also floated the idea of playing the Champions League and Europa League finals behind closed doors, with clubs across Europe facing an unprecedented test of their finances.

Two Championship clubs, Leeds United and Birmingham City, have already asked their players to take pay cuts, while the Juventus squad agreed to cut their wages for four months.

Ward, whose contract with Stoke City ends in May, admits that all clubs will have to take steps at some point. "The club haven't had a conversation with us about wages and contracts but I am sure that will happen, the longer this goes on," the Stoke player said.

"As players we are guided by the club, they are guided by the EFL, so it's a case of sitting tight. But it's inevitable that something will have to happen as we don't want clubs to get into financial bother.

"Hopefully something can be worked out, whether from the government or the players, or clubs will be in serious trouble.

"We can't do much about our own positions at the moment. Depending on how long this goes on, I will have to think about my future. I am up at the end of the season so I am anxious about what will happen. But clubs don't know what the position is with the transfer window, with contracts.

"The most important thing for me, and other players, is keeping our families safe. There are people out there in more need of attention than professional footballers," Ward added.


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