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Club statement: COVID-19 update

Bristol City have united to safeguard the financial stability of the club.

From first team to Academy level, all players and staff have agreed steps to make sure that jobs and livelihoods are secured.

Those measures are:

  • Players agreeing to defer a percentage of their wages for three months
  • All staff agreeing a temporary voluntary salary reduction
  • Use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furloughing) of some non-playing staff

Bristol City Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton said: “These are challenging and difficult times and I’ve been overwhelmed by the care everyone has had for their team-mates and colleagues.

“I have always said that central to our business is our first-class people and their health and wellbeing is paramount.

“Lee and I have spoken to every player and also to many staff affected and we have been impressed with how understanding they have been and the recognition that we are all in this difficult situation together.

“The coronavirus pandemic means that, along with millions of other businesses around the world, we find ourselves living in unusual and uncertain circumstances.

“But we believe these measures, taken in conjunction with other areas of Bristol Sport, will safeguard our financial stability and help us come through this period in the best possible position for when football resumes. When that will be is difficult to say and, conscious that many of our supporters are suffering financially, we are deferring the first direct debit payment for 2020/21 season cards by one month, from May 1st to June 1st.

“Without doubt, next season will be one of austerity for everyone but I believe that Bristol City’s principles of sustainability through prudent financial management will see us through.”

Head Coach Lee Johnson said: “Throughout these difficult and unprecedented times it is important that we as a football staff do all we can to contribute to the various causes that need us right now. The players and staff have been amazing in showing their class, community spirit and charitable donations. I am proud to work with such people. We all miss football and hopefully these sacrifices will help us in the goal of securing a positive future for the football club when we return and beyond.”

Speaking on behalf of the whole squad, club captain Bailey Wright, who played a leading role in the discussions along with City’s longest-serving player Korey Smith, said: “As a playing group we feel it is important that we contribute to the cause. Everybody at the club is making sacrifices and it’s only right that we play our part. This is a special group of players and staff and we will get through this together.”

As a club we want to support our community as much as possible during these difficult times.

The Robins Foundation charity is working with Ashton Gate, Bristol Sport Foundation and Bears Community Foundation to deliver food, prepared at the Stadium by Head Chef George Opondo, to those most in need. The Foundation is using its extensive knowledge of the local community - gained through the multitude of projects which they run around central and south Bristol - and are working with both schools and the police to identify those who need support most.

The Foundation’s staff and volunteers are currently delivering approximately 1,000 meals and food parcels (made up of essential items) a week to vulnerable young people in our local community.

Ashton Gate has partnered with the South West arm of national charity FareShare to use the stadium concourse areas so that more ambient surplus food can be taken in and redistributed to frontline organisations across the city and wider region.

City players, staff, supporters are also undertaking a number of activities to support the Bristol community, including adding food and essential supplies to their shopping, with volunteer drivers collecting from outside their homes and delivering to food banks in Bristol.

In addition, the Winterstoke car park at Ashton Gate Stadium is being used for the Ambulance Service’s Covid-19 testing unit for University of Bristol Hospitals and Weston General NHS Trust staff.

Stay safe, stay home

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