Premiership teams criticised for lack of communication about wage cuts

Gallagher Premiership clubs have been criticised for their lack of communication over reducing players’ wages.

Most top-flight clubs have asked their players to take a 25 per cent pay cut as part of cost-cutting measures designed to mitigate the financial hardship of the coronavirus.

However, Christian Day, the Rugby Players Association’s liaison officer and former chairman, has been dismayed by the lack of discourse compared to other sports which are confronting identical problems.

Christian Day, right, is a former Northampton lock (Nigel French/PA)
Christian Day, right, is a former Northampton lock (Nigel French/PA)

“All 13 clubs have done this their own way,” he said on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast. “There was no discussion with us beforehand and no central discussion from Premiership Rugby either.”

“What we would have preferred from the start was a lot more dialogue and understanding which is what seems to be happening in football currently.

“They are not just saying ‘this is going to happen’, there is instead a discussion of why it needs to happen and how it is all going to work.”

While an overwhelming majority seem content to make a sacrifice, Day, a former Northampton lock whose organisation is advising players on their legal rights, explained why a uniform approach is not necessarily the best solution.

He added: “I think the majority of players can understand why a club needs some help, but at either end of the scale – and this is me speaking – you’ve got academy players who don’t earn much money at all, and you have guys retiring at the end of the season who are going to be put in a stressful position.

“The easy thing is to just (take the cuts), and the other extreme is to say the club have broken the contract and either leave the club or sue the club which is not something we or I would advise.

“The middle ground is to inform the players legally where they stand, and try to give them what most of the players want, which is the reassurance of how long it is going to last, how long it is going to affect (the players) and can they have some time to think about it, rather than just telling them it is going to happen?”

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