Wallabies legend Tim Horan has urged Australian players to take a 75 percent pay cut over the next three months and has suggested a radical overhaul of the Super Rugby and international windows.
Rugby Australia yesterday announced it will stand down 75 percent of its staff for the next three months as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
RUPA boss Justin Harrison has said cuts of 30-50 per cent, in line with RA senior staff, would be “adequate” for the game to survive in 2020.
Remaining Rugby Australia staff have been offered significant salary reductions or fewer hours as the organisation braces for a $120 million loss in revenue as the prospect of no Super Rugby and no domestic Wallabies tests looms large on the horizon.
Speaking on Fox Sports News, Horan said that the players should take a significant wage drop of their own in order to help alleviate financial for Rugby Australia
“My feeling is that the players, in the next quarter, would probably have to take upwards of 70-75 per cent pay cut in the next quarter in 2020,” Horan said.
“Then it probably has to be revised, subject to what content can be played.
“The broadcasters require content to pay Rugby Australia.
“I think the players understand the crisis we’re in at the moment but they just need a little more time to understand where the game is going and what finances are in place to get the game through this.”
Rugby Australia hoped to field all four of its Super Rugby sides, as well as the Western Force in a revised version of Super Rugby as the normal Super Rugby competition, was brought to a halt after seven rounds of action.
However, these players were scrapped by tightened restrictions from the Australian Government on travel and public gatherings.
Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle is open to a competition restructure with Horan suggesting that a streamlined version of Super Rugby featuring only New Zealand, Australia and Japan has plenty of appeal.
“Television agreements are in place with South Africa and New Zealand so that would have to be blown up,” Horan said.
“I’d like to see Australia and New Zealand and also Japan be involved so you stay in your time zone.
“The way that that happens is that Japan virtually play their national team in a Super Rugby competition.
“Maybe the Western Force come back involved.
“It’s going to be up to the broadcasters and what content they’d like to see in the next five years.
“At the moment there’s a broadcast agreement in place and that’s without the Sunwolves in Japan.”
Horan recognised that COVID-19 was arguably the biggest challenge rugby has ever faced, with multiple unions around the globe suffering financially due to the outbreak with RA having announced a provisional loss of $9.4 million for 2019 at its AGM on Monday.
“We’ll get through it, we’ve got through big issues previously in the game, over a long period of time,” Horan said.
“There were issues in 94-95, when the game turned professional and got through it.
“This is obviously the biggest challenge that not just sport, but everyone, globally is facing.
“We’ll get through it.
“The good thing we’ve got is it’s a global game.
“So we’ve got sources globally.