Farrell's 'noble' gesture to save Sarries
NEWS: He may not be the most popular player, but England captain Owen Farrell showed what a team man he can be.
It has been reported in the British media that Farrell has agreed to take a massive pay deferral.
The agreement means around 90 percent of his wages will be ‘delayed’ for five months – a sum of roughly £300,000 (US$620,000).
The now relegated Premiership Champions, Saracens, revealed on Wednesday that they have asked all employees earning over £75,000 ($94,000) to defer payment of their salaries until the start of the 2020/21 season and have furloughed staff due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.
The English Premiership has been suspended indefinitely due to social distancing measures, but the north London club will be relegated if and when the season does end due to breaches of the division’s salary cap.
The English media report that Farrell and fellow England star Maro Itoje have both agreed to pocket just 10 percent of their salaries.
“Saracens will be participating in the government furloughing scheme and in addition have asked players and all employees earning over £75,000 to defer payment of their salaries, over and above this amount, until the start of the 2020/21 season,” the three-time European champions said in a statement.
“The amounts deferred will be repaid over an 18-month period from the start of the 2020/21 season.”
Saracens had already imposed a 25 percent pay cut on their squad as part of a blanket move by Premiership clubs that was strongly criticised by the Rugby Players’ Association.
Saracens did not say whether the proposed wage deferrals have been formally accepted by the players, but they are said to be “overwhelmingly supportive”.
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Itoje, who has been the subject of a lucrative loan offer from Racing 92 for next season, said: “In order to see this through the whole organisation needs to pull together and do what we can for the future of Saracens and our individual careers within the sport.”
Saracens Chairman Neil Golding insisted the measures were necessary to keep the club afloat.
“We understand this is really tough for everyone, but the reality is that the only way to survive this unprecedented situation as a club is to make these adjustments.”
The RPA player liaison officer and former chairman, Christian Day, meanwhile, has hit out at the clubs’ handling of the blanket 25 percent cuts.
As revealed by The Guardian, clubs are likely to face a number of claims for unlawful deduction of wages, with players on low salaries or out of contract at the end of the season unhappy with how the reductions were imposed.
“All clubs have done this their own way,” Day told the BBC.
“There was no discussion with us beforehand and no central discussion from Premiership Rugby either.
“What we would have preferred from the start was a lot more dialogue and understanding which is what seems to be happening in football currently.
“They are not just saying: ‘This is going to happen’, there is instead a discussion of why it needs to happen and how it is all going to work.”
Sources: The Guardian & AFP