Wales, Scotland Rugby initiate cost-saving measures due to Covid-19

By AP Time of article published Mar 31, 2020

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CARDIFF – Scotland and Wales became the latest rugby unions to take drastic cost-saving measures on Tuesday as the sport plunges into financial turmoil during the coronavirus pandemic.

In announcing its review of staff costs, the Welsh Rugby Union said senior figures such as national coach Wayne Pivac and chief executive Martyn Phillips will be having a 25% reduction to their salaries. Other members of staff will take cuts of either 25% or 10%.

Phillips said everyone at the WRU “has ‘rolled up their sleeves’ and adapted.”

“We have taken these steps to aim to safeguard jobs and protect the medium and long-term health of the game in Wales,” he said. “We remain focused on our goal to come out of the other side of this crisis.”

Discussions are ongoing with Welsh players’ unions about more financial measures, while operational staff at the Principality Stadium - Welsh rugby’s national arena - have been offered the opportunity to continue in full-time work supporting workers in Britain’s health service.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac gestures before the Six Nations rugby union international between Wales and France on February 22, 2020. Photo: AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Scotland’s rugby chiefs have taken salary referrals rather than cuts.

Head coach Gregor Townsend has agreed to a deferral of 25% from April 1 to Sept. 1, chief executive Mark Dodson was taking a 30% deferral, and the board 25%. The coaches of the two professional sides, Richard Cockerill at Edinburgh and Dave Rennie at Glasgow, have made the same agreement as Townsend, though Rennie begins his new job as Australia coach in July.

“We have a huge challenge ahead of us,” said Colin Grassie, chairman of the Scottish Rugby board, “but we will get there together and we will leave no stone left unturned to ensure the long-term sustainability of Scottish Rugby and the sport in Scotland.”

Wales and Scotland have already decided to abandon their respective domestic seasons amid the virus outbreak.

With England’s Rugby Football Union facing losses of around 50 million pounds ($61 million) in revenue over the next 18 months as a consequence of the pandemic, the governing body’s executive team agreed last week to pay cuts above 25%. Head coach Eddie Jones has done the same.

On Monday, USA Rugby said it has decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because its financial woes have been exacerbated by the coronavirus shutdown.

Associated Press (AP)

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