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Bath become 11th Premiership club to announce wage cuts

Bath

Bath chief executive Tarquin McDonald has confirmed the club will introduce a 25 per cent reduction in salary to all players and staff, effective April 1.

The measure taken by Bath leaves Exeter Chiefs as the only remaining team in the Premiership to not announce it will be cutting salaries.

Seven days ago Wasps and Worcester became the first clubs to adopt the measure as a step to maintain financial sustainability through the coronavirus pandemic.

After London Irish on Wednesday, Bath have now followed suit after contacting its squad and staff.

“It is difficult and unsettling for all of us,” CEO McDonald wrote in an open letter.

“Rugby has rightly paused for a period, as the focus turns to the welfare of everyone in the community, and resources are focused on the public services who are working tirelessly to cope with those directly affected by the coronavirus.

“Whilst the clear intention of the league and the clubs is to get back to playing rugby as soon as possible, the financial impact on all clubs in the league is significant and immediate. 

“In this unprecedented landscape, I can confirm that we have taken the difficult decision to ask all players and staff to support the Club by agreeing a 25% reduction of salary, effective from April 1st 2020. This reduction will not apply to our lower-earning members of staff and players, and we will ensure that we support our people where they are facing serious financial difficulty.

“The decision will remain under constant review, whilst we wait to start playing rugby again.

“The response of everyone at the Club has been amazing, there is a deep desire to come through this period of uncertainty together and to emerge stronger as a Club, which we will.”

The suspension of the 2019-20 season by Premiership Rugby has led to clubs missing out on between £300,000-500,000 in matchday revenue, in addition to TV revenue as BT Sport will not be paying installments with no games feasible until at least April 24.

Questions have been posed as to how Premiership clubs have resorted to cutting wages by a quarter following the investment in the league by private equity firm CVC in late 2018.

The £230m acquisition of a 27 per cent share in Premiership Rugby led to clubs receiving £18m.

Bath accounts for 2018-19 showed an increase in wages, totalling £440,000, although it reduced its debt from £16.1m to £11.8m.

Last April it came to light that all Premiership clubs were in the red for the financial year 2017-18, bar Exeter who recorded a profit of £533,000.

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