Harlequins ask staff to take 25 percent wage cut

London (AFP) –


Harlequins have asked players, coaches and staff to accept a 25 percent wage cut following a similar move by other English Premiership clubs as the coronavirus pandemic wrecks havoc on the game.

Premiership rugby has been postponed until at least April 24, while the rugby season in England below the top tier has already been brought to a premature end.

"We need to ensure that we take action now to ensure the security of our staff and the financial viability of the club," Harlequins CEO Laurie Dalrymple said in a statement on Monday.

"These are incredibly tough decisions in unprecedented times."

"We will look after our lowest earners and those facing financial difficulty," he added.

There are still nine rounds of Premiership matches remaining before the scheduled semi-finals and final to decide who ends the season as champions.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs hopes the campaign can be completed, even if it has to be behind closed doors.

One solution proposed is to play multiple games at the same closed-doors venue to reduce the number of medical, security and television production personnel on site.

"There is no reason why we couldn't play four games over a weekend in a single stadium," Childs told the PA news agency.

"To be able to concentrate things in one area, certainly if it is a closed-door game, means we can be sensible about trying to reduce the impact on the TV operations, the crews and the filming by compressing it into one venue."