Scottish rugby's top earners asked to take pay cut

Glasgow (AFP) –


Scotland's top earning rugby players have been asked to take a pay cut amid fears of £12 million ($15 million) losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, Scottish Rugby announced on Monday.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson, who reportedly earns £933,000 a year, has agreed to a 30 percent pay reduction until September with "developing uncertainty" over whether the Dark Blues could host Argentina, Japan and New Zealand in November because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The two professional Scottish outfits in Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh have had their domestic Pro14 and European campaigns already stopped due to the illness.

"If the Autumn Tests were to be cancelled, then we face a further loss of expected revenue well in excess of £12 million," Dodson said in a statement.

"We have to assume that any league or tournament rugby would also then be unable to take place for a period, exacerbating the loss of income.

"Scottish Rugby will consult with all players and identified staff on a salary reduction programme focused on our higher earning employees and players."

A BBC report on Monday claimed Dodson had emailed staff stating anyone earning above £50,000 would be asked to accept wage cuts on a sliding scale between 10 and 25 per cent, with the latter figure relating to players and staff earning more than £200,000.

The report said three-quarters of Scottish Rugby's staff would be furloughed but the organisation did not confirm numbers.

Scotland's summer tour of South Africa and New Zealand has not yet been postponed.

"Like many we hope the professional game season can be completed, but have no guarantee that even a truncated end to any of the competitions will happen," added Dodson.

"As it now stands it would appear very unlikely the annual summer tours to the Southern Hemisphere will take place. This has a further impact on our income."