Town skipper reveals Luton squad were always keen to take a wage deferral

Bradley confirms settling on a final percentage took time

By Mike Simmonds
Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 7:25 am
Hatters captain Sonny Bradley
Hatters captain Sonny Bradley

Luton captain Sonny Bradley has stated the players were always determined to help the club in any way they could, after news that a wage deferral had been reached last week.

Town chief executive Gary Sweet had warned previously that the Hatters’ existence could be put into jeopardy had an agreement not been finalised by the squad.

The CEO went on to criticise the PFA as the reason why it had taken so long, and when asked if it was something the players had always wanted to get done, Bradley said: “Yes of course, from day one.

“This wasn’t a case of any player at the football club refusing to take a deferral, we just wanted to make sure that the players and the football club were both satisfied, and the PFA.

“We wanted to do it as a team and when you’ve got 30 boys to come to an agreement on a percentage on a deferral, it does take a little bit of time and that’s what’s happened.

“At Luton, I think everybody knows that we are one of the lowest paid clubs in the Championship.

“We don’t have players here on £15,000 to £20,000 a week, I think our average wage is just over £4,000 a week.

“So there are players at this football club that, when you compare to other clubs, are not on a great amount.

“So, when you’re asking for a certain amount from them, certain players will have to look at their outgoings because, like anyone, everybody makes plans with their money.

“Every player has to look at their outgoings and decide what they can afford to part way with, temporarily.

“We are in a position where that’s been agreed and everyone’s happy, so we have agreed, we can move on and concentrate on football.”

As captain of the club, Bradley confirmed that he along with striker James Collins and goalkeeper James Shea took the lead when it came to negotiations for the players and sorting out just how much they could part with.

He added: “It’s tough, it was a difficult process, there was no easy conversation, everything had to be done properly.

“From the start of the talks, we agreed as a group that we would take the same deferral and stick together on it.

“Myself, James Shea and James Collins who are senior members of the team, that’s our job to try and get 30-plus individuals to agree on a percentage.

“It was difficult and it did take time but I’m glad we’re there now, that’s all sorted.

“I think we’re at a stage where the players are happy, the club is happy and the PFA are happy so we can move on from that now and concentrate on football.”

On why that trio specifically got together to tackle the issue, Bradley added: “A few months ago before this started, me and James Collins who class ourselves as senior members of the squad and James Shea – who was our PFA representative – it made sense for us three, Gary Sweet and Paul Watson (general operations manager) to create a small group and help the communication so they could come to us and speak and then we could go back to the players.

“That’s the way we chose to do it and we felt as senior players and as James Shea is our PFA representative, we had an obligation to protect the players and make them understand exactly what was going on.

“It did take time and probably more time than the club wanted but that’s just the nature of what’s going on.

“They had to make sure it was done correctly and I think now we’re at the point where everyone is happy and we can just look forward to finishing the season.”