Premiership Rugby boss Darren Childs has issued a statement following an extraordinary week for professional rugby in English.

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With the coronavirus sweeping through England, Monday heralded the confirmation of a five-week suspension for the tournament and the week ended with a number of the league’s clubs revealing they have implemented salary cuts for players and coaches. 

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In his statement, Childs said: “The effects of coronavirus have created an extraordinary and unprecedented crisis for business as a whole around the world, not least for professional sports.

“What has become clear since last week is that it is only with a kind, collaborative and professional approach, we can come together and – when this crisis is over and it is safe for us to resume play – become collectively stronger.

“The health of our fans, players and staff is our first priority, so at Premiership Rugby we are working around-the-clock with our partners and the authorities on contingency plans to restart as soon as it’s safe to do so. 

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“That is what our fans want, but it will also be the biggest contribution that we can make to ensure the long-term health of all of the clubs in the league.

“Meanwhile, some of the clubs in the Premiership have taken extremely difficult decisions around salaries to ensure they are ready to weather this hiatus. 

“I respect those clubs who have made those tough calls, and we too at Premiership Rugby have also made difficult decisions to ensure we can collectively emerge stronger.

“Although we have had these conversations in private, I wanted to publicly, and wholeheartedly, support our clubs as they take these difficult decisions in their respective businesses to ensure their own futures.

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“Together we will get through this crisis, and professional sport will emerge stronger.”

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