Leicester Tigers have confirmed that some of their playing squad will be leaving the club due to financial difficulties created by the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, a number of players were reported to have refused pay cuts following negotiations with the club.

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Ellis Genge, George Ford, Manu Tuilagi, Greg Bateman and Kyle Eastmond were among the list of players said to have refused pay cuts.

Now the Tigers have confirmed that some players will be leaving following the stand-off, although the club have yet to name the players in question.

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“The Club’s commercial activities have felt the pandemic’s impact more than most Premiership Rugby clubs, given the size of its stadium and fan base,” a Leicester Tigers statement read.

“To date, the Club has missed out on approximately £5.0 million of revenues since it was last able to host matchdays or events at Welford Road.

“The Board recognises and is grateful for the significant sacrifices made across the Club’s community to ensure a sustainable long-term financial footing for Tigers. Fans have kept season ticket money in the Club and sponsors have continued to be supportive.

“Difficult decisions have had to be made, including salary reductions, reduced working time and using the furlough scheme as well as a redundancy process which concludes today and could potentially lead to the departure of up to 31 members of staff.

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“In addition, a small number of players will leave Tigers to seek new opportunities elsewhere. We wish them well for the future.

“The players were asked to accept reduced wages and, following feedback, we created a mechanism through which a proportion of forgone earnings could be reclaimed when the Club returns to profitability.

“At the same time, salaries of lower-paid players beginning their professional careers were protected.

“In common with other Club employees, these changes resulted from detailed explanations of the Club’s financial position and the necessity of the measures being taken.

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“Our focus throughout this crisis has been to put the Club first and to ensure the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of Tigers.

“The vast majority of players fully support our recovery plans and will be working with Geordan Murphy and Steve Borthwick on the way forward, beginning with the phased return to training and proposed resumption of the 2019/20 season.”

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