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Real Salt Lake announces pay cuts, layoffs as virus bites

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake said Tuesday it was laying off staff and reducing pay for employees across the club as it adjusts to the league shutdown forced by the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the Utah outfit said the "distressing" action had been taken after the club discovered it would not benefit from US government aid to help businesses hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

"As a result, we are forced to adapt and align our workforce appropriately to face these new challenges and difficult circumstances," Real Salt Lake said in a statement.

"This will require a reduction in salary for all executives and staff as well as a decrease in staffing levels across the organization, which includes a furlough of some of our staff members.

"This is obviously a distressing outcome as we deeply value and appreciate each of our employees."

The club said it planned to re-hire staff as soon as MLS resumes play.

MLS chiefs have said the league will not restart before May 10 and have pushed back the MLS Cup season finale to December.

MLS shut down last month after only two rounds of the 2020 season as the pandemic swept across the United States.

Sport in the US has ground to a standstill in the past month, with all major professional leagues halted and dozens of events cancelled or postponed.

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