NZ players' union concede pay cuts are a possibility
#COVID-19: New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association boss Rob Nichol hasn’t eliminated the prospect of pay cuts, as Super Rugby remains shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
With the competition suspended indefinitely, New Zealand Rugby and its five Super Rugby franchises are anticipating a financial hammering as revenue sources deplete.
Although players may have to accept a pay cut in order to accommodate NZ Rugby’s limited income, Nichol told Stuff it was too early to confirm if that would be the case.
“As it stands right now, things are kind of status quo,” Nichol said. “But we are not naive.
“We know there is going to be a commercial impact, we know we will have to sit around the table and work with the other stakeholders and be a part of the solution.
Continue reading below…
“And get things on an even keel once we understand what we are really dealing with.”
While NZR central contracting system covers the salaries of all professional players throughout Super Rugby in New Zealand, the five franchises will still be impacting heavily by operating costs, which will be affected by a big loss of ticket sales.
Alternative solutions are trying to be found while Super Rugby remains in lock down, and could yet be abandoned entirely this season.
The concept of ‘derby only’ clashes have been touted between conference rivals, but even if they go ahead, the chances of playing in front of fans are slim, which won’t help alleviate financial concerns for the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders.
Nichol confirmed that any decision about the players’ salaries will be made with consultation from all relevant parties.
“Whatever we decide to do, it will be that kind of team approach. We know there is going to be commercial ramifications but first of all, we will be doing what is right for the people.”
Super Rugby players in New Zealand are paid anywhere between NZ$195,000 and NZ$75,000 by their franchises, while leading All Blacks have their earnings topped up by NZR.
With endorsements and sponsorships, the salaries of some of the top players in the country can exceed $1 million.
Nichol maintained that the players didn’t want to see their game damaged by a lack in finances and said that they would be prepared to do their bit to ensure the game remained intact.
“We want to make sure that we, all stakeholders, that rugby comes out of it in the best shape possible,” Nichol said.
“We appreciate it’s uncertain times for everybody, but we are in it together.”
Source: Stuff & RugbyPass