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Stuart Dallas: Taking a pay cut was right thing to do but Leeds' season must finish

 

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Stuart Dallas

Stuart Dallas

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Career goals: Steven Davis would love to boss Rangers and his country

Career goals: Steven Davis would love to boss Rangers and his country

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Stuart Dallas

Northern Ireland star Stuart Dallas insists he had no hesitation in taking a wage deferral at his club Leeds United as "it was the right thing to do".

In March, Leeds were one of the first clubs in the UK to take action as the coronavirus pandemic swept around Europe with the players, coaching staff and management volunteering to defer their wages for "the foreseeable future".

The Elland Road outfit, top of the Championship table when football was brought to a halt by Covid-19, revealed the move allowed all 272 full-time non-football staff plus the majority of casual staff to be paid.

Generous Dallas said that last month's call was a no-brainer as far as he was concerned.

"I have relationships with people within the club, as do other players, and possibly this situation could have led to them losing their job. You don't want to see that," explained Dallas.

"They have families and have to keep a roof over their heads and if helping them means taking wage deferrals, I was happy to do it.

"We are in a privileged position as players with the money we earn but money means nothing if the health and safety and welfare of people isn't in place.

"For us, it was the right thing to do. It was a no-brainer.

"It keeps people in a job and the club in a good position and, when all this is over in years to come, we can look back and tell our kids and grandkids what was going on and how important it was to try and do the right thing."

As well as enjoying family time in lockdown, Dallas has been keeping himself fit in preparation for when football returns.

Leeds last played on March 7. At that point, they were on course for promotion to the Premier League.

There are hopes that the game in England will resume, possibly in June, but nothing is guaranteed due to Covid-19.

“I honestly don’t know what will happen. I don’t think anyone does but I think the season has to be played to a finish.  It may end up being played behind closed doors,” says Dallas.

“For me, of course football is nothing without fans. As a football fan I know that. I also know that safety for people is the most important thing but, from a football point of view, I think it is vital that we finish the league.

“That’s why we are staying fit. It is important as a group of players that we stay fit and be ready if football does resume. 

“Ultimately, it comes down to how much we want it. The EFL have said this is our holiday time but we have to stay fit. We are in pole position to be promoted and we cannot let that slip.”

Belfast Telegraph