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Irish rugby players' group 'very disappointed' in reports about possible salary cuts

Rugby Players Ireland released a statement today.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

RUGBY PLAYERS IRELAND have expressed disappointment in recent media reports in relation to possible salary cuts for players and insist they are still ‘in the very early phase’ of discussions with the IRFU regarding the financial situation that is faced.

Rugby in Ireland is facing huge financial challenges as a result of the Covid-19 crisis that has brought a halt to sporting action.

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

The IRFU look set to move all non-playing staff to a four-day working week and it was also reported last week by the Irish Times that the organisation are in line to seek a 20% reduction in players salaries.

In the wake of those reports, the players’ group issued the following statement today:

We are very disappointed to see recent media reports about proposed player salary cuts. We are in the very early phase of discussions with the IRFU to establish fully the current and long term financial position of the Union and only then can the players fully consider any proposal.
Rugby Players Ireland will not be commenting further at this time.”

Last month the IRFU CEO Philip Browne confirmed that plans are in place for inter-provincial games to take palce behind closed doors at the Aviva Stadium on 22-23 August.

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Browne also laid out the financial difficulties facing the IRFU with losses of €15-20 million in revenues if the 2020 Six Nations games, which were postponed during the spring, and the November tests are not played this year.

If those fixtures were held behind closed doors, it would result in a €10-15 millon loss.

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