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Scottish Rugby makes pay cuts amidst 'uncertainty' over November Tests

Argentina, New Zealand and Japan are due to visit Murrayfield later this year.

SCOTTISH RUGBY SAYS that “uncertainty” over this year’s November Tests has contributed to the union asking its top players to take salary cuts of 10 to 25% for the next five months.

The Scottish Union had previously announced pay deferrals due to the Covid-19 crisis putting rugby and all sports on hold.

Now, Scottish Rugby has confirmed further measures – pending agreement with the players – that “reflect the challenging financial situation facing rugby in Scotland, across the UK and the world.”

scotland-players-dejected-after-the-game Scotland's top players are being asked to take pay cuts. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

The move follows discussions between Scottish Rugby and Rugby Players Scotland (RPS), the players’ association.

Among the concerns for the union is the expected cancellation or postponement of Scotland’s summer tour to South Africa and New Zealand, as well as this year’s November Tests against Argentina, New Zealand and Japan at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

“Scottish Rugby revenues are being affected as match day receipts from the Pro14 and EPCR tournament fixtures ended and other income generating activity has been interrupted,” reads an official union statement.

“The Scotland national team men’s summer tour to South Africa and New Zealand is in doubt. There is uncertainty over the autumn Tests at BT Murrayfield. This combination of factors will have a significant impact on Scottish Rugby revenues.”

Under the new measures, the salary reductions relate to all contracted Scottish Rugby players earning more than £50,000 a year.

“Subject to the outcome of consultation with players affected, these player salaries will be reduced by 10 to 25% from 1 April to 1 September 2020 depending on the scale of pay,” reads the Scottish Rugby statement.

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Meanwhile, players from Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland 7s, the Stage 3 Scottish Rugby Academy and Scotland Women 2021-contracted players will be furloughed under the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme.

“We are in unprecedented circumstances and one of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is that all rugby has ceased both domestically, internationally and professionally,” said Scottish Rugby’s director of performance, Jim Mallinder.

“This has had a significant impact on Scottish Rugby, as it has on others involved in the game and other sports. 

“Together, Scottish Rugby and Rugby Players Scotland have recognised that we need to take appropriate measures as a result of this. This approach will allow us to protect our players and the organisation as much as possible through this uncertain period.

“This is a rapidly changing picture. We will continue our positive dialogue with RPS to assess what we need to do to protect our sport, our people and the rugby community.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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