Coronavirus: Hearts ask all staff to take 50% wage cut

Hearts are currently four points adrift at the foot of the Scottish Premiership
Hearts are currently four points adrift at the foot of the Scottish Premiership

Hearts have asked players and staff to take a wage cut of 50% because of the financial impact of the coronavirus.

Owner Ann Budge said previously that the club would lose £1m in revenue from the indefinite suspension of football.

The club says the move is to protect "as many jobs as possible" and avoid redundancies, adding the current situation is unsustainable.

All full-time employees will be affected.

"The Scottish FA has now suspended football for the foreseeable future and, whilst there is no specified end date to this, it is most likely that the game will not resume until July/early August at the earliest," Budge said in a statement.

"This reduction in income is not sustainable without taking immediate action to cut staff costs and overheads.

"As such, I need to act swiftly and take steps now to ensure that we, as a Club, can weather this storm while trying to ensure we are ready to resume operations as and when we move into calmer waters and football restarts."

Hearts staff have been told that they will receive their salaries as normal next week, while players will receive their pay at the end of the month. The reduced wages would apply from April.

Those who feel "unable or unwilling" to accept the cut, will be offered the chance to leave the club.

Budge has reassured workers that despite the cut, nobody will be paid less than the living wage of a full-time worker, which is £18,135.

It was revealed earlier this week that some players and staff members had offered to hand salaries back.

The Hearts owner added: "Given the uncertainty of the whole situation with which we have been presented, we cannot say how long these measures will be in place.

"We will, of course, be continuously reviewing the situation.

"I want to assure everyone that these decisions have not been taken lightly. If I was not absolutely convinced that this is necessary for the future sustainability of our business, I would not be asking our employees to face these cuts."

The Tynecastle club, who have one of the league's biggest budgets outside the Old Firm, are currently four points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership with eight games to play.

Budge previously said the club would consider legal advice should they be relegated without the season being completed.

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