Derby County’s first-team players, coaches, management and non-furloughed staff have accepted “substantial” wage deferrals to help negate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Championship (second-tier) club has said.

British media reports said Derby captain Wayne Rooney was leading talks on behalf of his teammates against a proposal by the club to defer wages of players by 50% and the striker’s spokesperson had said he was not in a “wage war”.

Derby did not give figures but said players had voluntarily agreed a deferral “considerably more than has been reported in the media” and thanked Rooney for his support.

“First team players have voluntarily agreed a substantial deferral…Everyone has been fully committed to help and play their part,” Derby said in a statement

“The measures have been agreed as part of the ongoing work to protect the future of the club, our staff and the communities we serve, during these unprecedented times.

“The club would specifically like to thank Rooney and Curtis Davies, the Professional Footballers Association’s club representative, for their help and support.”

Derby said players, coaches and staff also made financial donations to their Stay Safe. Stay Fit. Stay Connected campaign, while non-playing staff will volunteer at a local food hub.

Soccer in England was suspended indefinitely last month due to the outbreak, forcing several Premier League clubs to adopt measures to cut costs.

Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Southampton, West Ham United and Watford all announced wage deferrals for their players while Arsenal said their players and coaching staff would take a 12.5% pay cut.

Derby were 12th in the Championship when the season was suspended.

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