Rugby Players Ireland 'disappointed' over pay cut report

Rugby Players Ireland 'disappointed' over pay cut report

Rugby Players Ireland says it is "very disappointed" after a newspaper reported that the IRFU is seeking a 20% pay cut for the four provincial sides.

The Irish Times stated that IRFU non-playing staff were set for a 20% pay cut and that the governing body wanted a similar reduction for players.

There has been no action since 13 March because of the Covid-19 lockdown. 

"We are very disappointed to see recent media reports about proposed player salary cuts," said the RPI.

"We are in the very early phase of discussions with the IRFU to establish fully the current and long-term financial position of the union and only then can the players consider any proposal.

"Rugby Players Ireland will not be commenting further at this time."

A pay deferral scheme has eased the financial pressure on the IRFU but it will cease on 30 June and staff will then operate on a four-day week according to reports.

Meanwhile, former England centre Mike Tindall says Premiership Rugby players have to "take responsibility" in the ongoing dispute over salary cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rugby Players' Association (RPA) refused to rule out strike action after top-flight clubs agreed a £1.4m salary cap cut for the start of the 2021-22 season, which followed the majority of top-flight players having agreed temporary 25 per cent pay cuts in March.

However, Tindall believes a salary cap reduction was inevitable, with almost all Premiership clubs having been losing money before the coronavirus increased financial uncertainty.

"I think it had to happen," Tindall told Sky Sports News. "I think what coronavirus has done is probably shorten the inevitable that was coming later.

"That report came out that said clubs had probably lost over £80m in the last two seasons - now that's not a financial structure that would work in rugby, so something had to change. 

"I think players have to take responsibility, and yes they should be making all the money as long as the clubs are viable and they're not losing money. You've got to have a strong, healthy club if you want to have a strong academy and be able to bring players in, but they've got to be breaking even."

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