Peter Tom has become the latest Leicester figurehead to attempt to take the heat from damaging suggestions that disgruntled Tigers players have taken legal advice regarding pay cuts at the club during the coronavirus pandemic. Captain Tom Youngs and coach Geordan Murphy appeared last weekend on the latest episode of Leicester Tigers TV Weekly to tease out recent media reports that have not reflected well on the club.

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Now executive chairman Peter Tom has appeared on the club’s YouTube channel to outline that most of Murphy’s players are signed up to the revised terms. “There are only a few that haven’t now agreed and haven’t signed,” said the club official on YouTube. “I have a bit of sympathy for some of the guys who are leaving because that is a very difficult circumstance and you have the confusion of if the season does start again in July and what happens with things like that.

“I can understand with guys leaving, some of whom don’t have anywhere to go, it is not a particularly pleasant place to be. We’re doing everything we can to try and help but we’ve had great support from everybody.”

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Leicester Tigers have released PRO14-bound Jonah Holmes from his contract

Last weekend skipper Youngs insisted: “We never engaged a lawyer. No lawyer was in any Zoom call. Some guys may have gone to get information. Greg Bateman and Ellis Genge have been mentioned in there, they have been brilliant in their work.

“Greg is the RPA rep, he’s getting information and getting it to the player group so we can get a clear picture of how this is all working. They have done a fantastic job. From the playing group, it has always been about helping the club through this time, but it had to be regarding us understanding what it entails and implies.

 

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“We have had a good dialogue this week and really good questions have been answered, and answers have been given to give a clear understanding of what it is all about. This is about the whole club, players and staff, everyone being in it to make sure the club survives this tough time.”

Prop Genge is one of the main drivers behind a possible breakaway players union alternative to the long-established RPA which represents players at all the top-flight clubs. Said to have the support of upwards of 100 players across the league, he told the BBC website earlier this week: “We are not making a new RPA. I think they do really good stuff with welfare in rugby and they look after people really well. 

“But I do feel that people were poorly advised. People were advised from the off to sign the contracts without reading them, almost. Commercially, I didn’t think everyone was being represented very well.

“So I’m trying to put together a players’ union. It is not to replace the RPA or to combat the RFU. Honestly, it is nothing of the sort. It is just so people can get really good advice from trusted professionals in those specific fields: around commercial and legal.”

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