Premiership clubs to ask players to take wage cuts

Premiership clubs to ask players to take wage cuts

Several Premiership clubs will and in some cases have already asked players to take considerable pay cuts to help cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic according to multiple reports across England.

Club losses are expected to far exceed £1 million and some players will be expected to take a cut of up to 25% to help prevent a financial crisis at the clubs. This follows the suspension of the league until at least 20 April, with further delays expected to be announced.

The players' union are seeking "urgent clarification" on the issue after the board of the Rugby Players' Association met via conference call on Thursday to consider their position and subsequently wrote to all their members to alert them to the developing situation.

"While we fully appreciate the unprecedented times around global sport, we are also seeking urgent clarification on the current financial impact for English club rugby," RPA chief executive Damian Hopley told BBC Sport.

"Our advice is that players hear what the clubs have to say and then we will consider a collective position across the league."

The BBC reported that non-playing staff could see their wages reduced as well, especially senior executives. While the Daily Mail reported that Gloucester have already informed players and staff that their wages will be slashed by 25 per cent. 

Rumours have also surfaced that Wasps and Harlequins have also notified their players that salaries will be reduced during this enforced shut-down period.

The one bright light for Premiership clubs is the considerable windfall of around £13m last year from private equity giants CVC, who purchased a 27% stake in Premiership Rugby but how much of that money still remains at each club is unclear.

The RFU have yet to provide any financial reassurance to their clubs amid fears of ruin below Premiership level.

Sources: BBC Sport, Daily Mail

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