Wasps players have agreed a 25 per cent wage cut to help the club balance its books during the season suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The Gallagher Premiership is currently on a five-week break but there is every likelihood that the current layoff could continue for much longer.
The RFU have already called a halt to the 2019/20 season with immediate effect for every level of rugby in England below the Premiership. Fearing likewise could potentially happen to the top flight, Wasps have revealed they are cutting their financial cloth in a measure likely to be followed by numerous other Premiership clubs. Worcester have already done so, confirming they too have trimmed their squad wage bill.
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In an opening letter, Wasps chief executive Stephen Vaughan said: “Having discussed this situation at length with my colleagues from across the league, as well as Premiership Rugby, we are putting in place salary reductions of 25 per cent across the majority of the rugby department until we are playing Gallagher Premiership matches again.
“These measures will take effect from April 1. A number of lower-paid staff will be excluded from these salary reductions.
“As everyone is aware, we are living through extraordinary times and none of us can predict the future or speculate when the current situation will end.
“As a club and business, we are having to make difficult decisions to navigate these uncharted waters and ensure the club is in a position to continue its exciting journey when we come through this global emergency.
“We would all love the season to be back underway immediately, but all rugby activities are currently suspended and there are no guarantees as to when we might start playing again.
“In light of the latest advice and information from the Government, along with the pattern of escalation we have seen in the last few days, businesses around the world are being heavily impacted and we, Wasps, are no different.
“With this in mind, we need to take some extremely difficult and significant action to reduce costs immediately so we can resume doing what we love when this is all over. The impact of these decisions is going to be felt across the whole business.
“I spoke with Lee Blackett and senior members of the playing squad last night, and we then communicated this message to the wider team and colleagues.
It's been a big day behind closed doors at Premiership clubs across Englandhttps://t.co/iq1qb5LE93
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“I could not be more proud of their response, understanding and determination to help the club in such testing times. The same is true of the players’ efforts to support our wider community stay connected and keep talking, which I am sure you will be aware of.
“These are extraordinary times which call for extraordinary and robust measures. We do not know with any certainty how long these reductions will be in place, but we will review the situation on an ongoing basis and continue to keep the entire Wasps family up to date with developments.
“This great club has a proud history spanning over 150 years and, with everyone working together, we will ensure it has a great future.”
Worcester also admitted their players have taken a wage cut. “We have long-term plans to make the club sustainable through the development of the Sixways site which is making real progress with the support of our local authority,” read a club statement.
“In the short-term, all our staff will take a 25 per cent pay cut effective from April 1. The 25 per cent reduction will not apply to staff below a certain salary threshold to ensure they are protected. We have offered as much support as we can to any member of staff who may suffer particular hardship as a consequence.”
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