Players take pay cut
#COVID-19: The first batch of players have agreed to a pay cut in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Wasps and Saracens players became the first take a 25 percent pay cut, until the English Premiership resumes to offset the slump in revenue caused by COVID-19.
The Premiership has been suspended for at least five weeks because of the epidemic.
The potential for the delay to go on even longer is causing concern among English clubs, who fear a severe impact on their short-term finances.
Wasps have responded by implementing the wage cut until top-flight matches return.
“We are putting in place salary reductions of 25 percent across the majority of the rugby department until we are playing Premiership matches again,” Wasps Chief Executive Stephen Vaughan said on Friday.
“These measures will take effect from April 1. A number of lower-paid staff will be excluded from these salary reductions.”
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Saracens also confirmed the pay cut.
“We have asked all our players, coaches and staff across the whole organisation to support us in a reduction in salary by 25 percent,” Saracens said in a statement.
“This move is to protect as many jobs as possible and avoid redundancies. We will keep this situation under review at all times and we anticipate that the pay cut will last until fixtures are re-scheduled and revenue-generating activity can begin again in earnest.
“Our lower paid staff have been protected from this pay cut.”
Other Premiership clubs are implementing similar measures with the prospect of resuming games in late April looking unlikely.
“We would all love the season to be back underway immediately, but all rugby activities are currently suspended and there are no guarantees as to when we might start playing again,” Vaughan said.
“With this in mind, we need to take some extremely difficult and significant action to reduce costs immediately so we can resume doing what we love when this is all over.
“I spoke with [interim head coach] Lee Blackett and senior members of the playing squad and we then communicated this message to the wider team and colleagues.
“I could not be more proud of their response, understanding and determination to help the club in such testing times.
“We do not know with any certainty how long these reductions will be in place, but we will review the situation on an ongoing basis.”