Four English clubs have announced that player wages will be reduced by 25% as a result of the indefinite suspension of the Premiership.
Unlike all other lower-tier rugby divisions in the England that have been called off, the RFU has decided to only suspend the Premiership because of the coronavirus epidemic.
But the break in play is placing financial strain on Premiership clubs, with some now forced to take drastic measures to stay afloat.
Wasps, the Worcester Warriors, Gloucester and Saracens have responded by implementing the wage cut effective from 1 April until the season resumes.
‘We are putting in place salary reductions of 25% across the majority of the rugby department until we are playing Premiership matches again,’ Wasps chief executive Stephen Vaughan said. ‘These measures will take effect from 1 April. A number of lower-paid staff will be excluded from these salary reductions.’
‘I spoke with [interim head coach] Lee Blackett and senior members of the playing squad and we then communicated this message to the wider team and colleagues. I could not be more proud of their response, understanding and determination to help the club in such testing times.’
Meanwhile, Worcester released their own statement on Friday, saying: ‘In the short term all our staff will take a 25% pay cut effective from 1 April .
‘The 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.
‘We appreciate this is not an ideal situation for anyone, but we hope that with the support of our loyal and dedicated staff in these difficult and challenging times that we can manage our way through this period.
‘Our aim is to plan for the day in the near future when we reopen the gates of Sixways to a full house where we can all enjoy cheering on the boys and the dizzying highs and lows that come with it.’
Shortly after the two clubs announced their plans, Gloucester and Saracens confirmed they would also be making 25% wage cuts.
Photo: Wasps Rugby