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Irish rugby players yet to receive a proposal regarding possible salary cuts

It’s understood that Rugby Players Ireland is contacting its members this evening.

THE IRFU LOOKS set to move all non-playing staff to a four-day working week in a move that could result in pay reductions.

As reported by the Irish Times, the IRFU is also set to seek a 20% reduction in player salaries amidst the financial challenges caused by the Covid-19 outbreak shutting the sport down.

However, The42 understands that Rugby Players Ireland [RPI], the body that represents professional rugby players in this country, has not received a proposal regarding a possible reduction in player salaries.

It’s understood that RPI is contacting its members this evening to advise them that no proposal has been received from the IRFU.

a-view-of-the-aviva-stadium The Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRFU staff, both players and non-playing employees, have been on a pay deferral scheme since the sport was put on pause due to the Covid-19 crisis in mid-March. The pay deferrals have ranged from 10% to 50% depending on the employee’s salary.

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IRFU CEO Philip Browne had warned that permanent pay reductions could be a reality the longer the lockdown of rugby continued, given that revenue from supporters attending games is the lifeblood of the sport in Ireland.

The IRFU is now set to end the pay deferral scheme from next month onwards, meaning non-playing staff look likely to suffer pay cuts and shift to four-day working weeks.

However, it appears there is much work still to be done regarding player salaries with Rugby Players Ireland yet to receive a proposal on this issue.

An IRFU spokesperson confirmed to the Irish Times that the union has already contacted non-playing staff regarding the need to reduce its monthly salary spend from 1 July.

“This will be achieved in the main by the staff moving to a reduced working week. The salary deferral scheme, which has been in operation since April, will cease at the end of June,” said IRFU director of communications, Stephen McNamara.

“The IRFU is in discussion with Rugby Players Ireland in relation to savings in the professional game. These arrangements will remain under constant review.” 

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Murray Kinsella

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