Players’ union leader Barry Cawte has said he is proud of his members after they agreed to take a 25 per cent pay cut.
As professional footballers continue talks over possible reductions due to the coronavirus pandemic, players at the four Welsh rugby regions have agreed to reduce their salaries by a quarter.
The deal, brokered between the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association (WRPA) and Welsh rugby’s Professional Rugby Board (PRB) will be backdated to April 1 and last three months.
Full-time staff at the four regions – Cardiff Blues, Scarlets, Ospreys and Dragons – will also have their pay cut at varying levels. However, players who earn £25,000 per year or less will not be subject to any reductions.
Cawte, the chief executive of the WRPA – whose staff will also take 25 per cent pay decreases – said: “The WRPA exists to look after the welfare of players, but it is clear that extraordinary times call for measures such as those agreed this week.
— the WRPA (@theWRPA) August 12, 2019
“I can only say how proud I am of our members, who from the beginning expressed a desire to do whatever was needed to help protect the games and their colleagues.”
The independent chair of the PRB, Amanda Blanc, added: “I would like to put on record my thanks to the WRPA, the regional chairs, and the WRU for their efforts in helping reach this decision.
“Rugby is a team sport and it is gratifying to note that all parties, from players to senior coaches and executive staff, agreed to terms which will help us safeguard the future of our game.
“For our professional players in particular this has been a really tough decision, they are at the very sharp end of our business, but they are also our biggest cost.
“But they are in the midst of short careers, many in the prime of those careers and we are asking them to make a financial sacrifice that they won’t have planned for.
“They have accepted that this is being done out of necessity because we want to be in position to immediately resume when current circumstances subside.”