Albion Chief Executive Mark Jenkins has issued an update for supporters about the Club’s position amid the continuing Coronavirus pandemic.
Mark’s comments follow the latest statements from the Premier League, EFL and PFA in the wake of the global spread of Covid-19.
The virus has brought football to a standstill with no immediate sign of a return but Mark confirms that Albion are so far withstanding the impact this has brought to the Club.
But he also acknowledges that serious challenges will have to be tackled if the freeze on the Club’s daily activities remains over an indefinite period.
Mark writes: “I thought it appropriate that I take this opportunity to bring our supporters up to date with how the Club is faring at this extremely difficult time for everyone.
“Obviously, the priority for us all is the health and welfare of our loved ones and beyond that, giving all the support we can to the front-line staff who are leading the fight against Covid 19.
“But it is my core task now to do all I can to steer the Club safely through challenges we have never faced before and that responsibility will be at the heart of every decision taken in the difficult days which remain ahead.
“On Friday both the EPL and EFL agreed to postpone its fixtures indefinitely, which will test all football clubs throughout the country. 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 for fact is that our operations are almost completely closed down and we are receiving 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 lock-down 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 effected 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.
“I should perhaps add at this point that 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.
“Clearly there has been a lot of media attention on player wages and the comments of the PFA. It is difficult to forecast our future position because of the various ways the Club receives its income. But if we continue to be unable to play football in any format, we will discuss this further with the players who I am confident will want to play their part.
“Making any long-term plans is now almost impossible with the entire focus of the management team in guiding the Club through this difficult time.
“What we are determined to do is to support our wonderful friends in the emergency services and in particular the NHS who continue to help us all through this crisis. The Club’s Foundation is leading our efforts within the Community, assisting those most in need and exploring ways in which West Bromwich Albion can provide support.
“We are in a crisis which peace-time football has never had to face before and there is no way of knowing precisely what we will have to tackle further along the road. All I can promise is that everything we do in the weeks to come will be designed to ensure our club is in as strong a position as it has been possible to secure when football resumes.”