Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has agreed to a salary deferment as the Scottish Rugby Union accepts the coronavirus shutdown is likely to have major consequences for “some time to come”.
Townsend, plus his counterparts at Glasgow and Edinburgh, Dave Rennie and Richard Cockerill, and SRU performance director Jim Mallinder have each agreed to a 25 per cent deferral.
Anger gripped Scotland in January after the revelation of what the SRU’s top executive was paid
The deferral by the Scotland boss mirrors what Ireland’s Andy Farrell agreed with the IRFU rather than what happened in England where Eddie Jones agreed to a pay cut in excess of £187,500.
SRU sources insist that this is only the first step taken by the board and further measures – including making use of the government’s furloughing scheme and pay cuts for staff and players – may yet have to be considered the longer the shutdown goes on.
Meanwhile, work on Edinburgh’s new 8,000-capacity stadium on Murrayfield’s back pitches has also been put on hold until after the government lifts its call for social distancing.
In a statement, the SRU said: “Various business scenarios are being considered in respect of resumption of professional and international rugby and detailed financial modelling activities are ongoing against each scenario.
“The board (has been) provided an update on PRO14, EPCR and Six Nations in respect of the challenges all these organisations that support our finances were also having.
“We are currently closely analysing the government support options being offered to organisations so that we will continue to feed this into informing our actions.
“It was noted by the board that the evolving crisis gripping the country will have significant challenges for the game at all levels in Scotland for some time to come.
“Once the board has further considered the relevant information and its potential impacts it will share a further update with our staff and stakeholders.”
SRU chief executive Mark Dodson will defer 30 per cent of his wages from April 1 through to September 1. Critics have pointed out that the CEO – who was paid a total of £933,000 in wages and bonuses last year – has only agreed to suspend a chunk of his hefty salary rather than accept a pay cut for the duration of the pandemic threat.
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