London, April 9 (IANS) Southampton have announced that their players will defer part of their salaries amid the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first English Premier League side to do so.

According to a BBC Sport report, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and his staff, as well as the board of directors, will also adopt the measure until June.

The English Premier League had earlier proposed a universal 30 per cent pay-cut for all players.

However, the Professional Footballers’ Association said that would hit tax contributions to the NHS.

On Monday, Premier League players launched the #PlayersTogether initiative to generate and distribute funds to the NHS, the report said.

Southampton have also said they will not be using the government’s furlough scheme during April, May and June and all staff not deferring their salaries will “continue to receive 100 per cent of their pay”.

The Professional Footballers Association head Gordon Taylor has donated 500,000 pounds ($617,000) to the Premier League players fund for the National Health Service (NHS).

Liverpool have also reversed their decision to place some non-playing staff on temporary leave.

The Premier League giants last week had said they were going to apply to the government’s taxpayer-funded job retention scheme.

–IANS

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