Scottish Rugby: Wage cuts for players & executives; hundreds of staff furloughed

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland
Every player contracted to Scottish Rugby earning more than £50,000 will be asked to take a cut of between 10% and 25%
Every player contracted to Scottish Rugby earning more than £50,000 will be asked to take a cut of between 10% and 25%

Every player in Scotland earning more than £50,000 will be asked to take a salary cut of 10-25% until September, while Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson will take a 30% reduction.

The union has acted to deal with the "increasing unpredictability" in global rugby amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Other executives will take a 25% drop, and a consultation is under way about a sliding scale of cuts beyond that.

Scottish Rugby also plans to furlough around 75% of their 450-strong staff.

However, it is confident that any employee earning less than £50,000 will be unaffected financially.

Any of the 157 contracted players earning over £50,000 will be asked to reduce their wages on the following sliding scale:

  • Those earning up to £75,000 would lose 10%;
  • Those earning £75,000-£100,000 would lose 15%;
  • Those earning £100,000-£200,000 would lose 20%;
  • Those earning above would lose 25%.

"It is because our projected incomes have fallen so sharply, coupled with the increasing unpredictability of any further resumption of any rugby worldwide, that we have to cut costs through this upcoming period," wrote Dodson in an email to staff on Monday.

"The furloughing of staff and salary reductions for senior people reflect the seriousness of the situation."

Last month, Dodson announced a range of wage deferrals but those have now been turned into cuts.

Fears are growing that both Scotland's summer tour to South Africa and New Zealand and their autumn Tests against Argentina, New Zealand and Japan at Murrayfield will not be able to go ahead.

In his email, Dodson said that the summer tour is "almost certain not to take place".

And, in a separate correspondence, Scottish Rugby chairman Colin Grassie said there is "developing uncertainty" if the autumn Tests "will go ahead as originally planned".

The cancellation of those games would cost Scottish Rugby around £12m in revenues, with the union already having to wait for final payments from the incomplete Six Nations Championship as well as from the Pro14 and the EPCR, the organisers of European Rugby.

Had Scotland not been able to play both of their home games in the Six Nations - against England and France - before the pandemic caused a halt to the sport, it is understood jobs would have been at risk.

However, Scottish Rugby believes these latest measures will get them through to September without any redundancies being required.

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