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£12m budget worry

Scottish Rugby cuts pay as fears rise over Autumn tests

Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby's chief executive

Cuts: Mark Dodson (pic: SNS Group)

Scottish Rugby’s senior executives are to take pay cuts of up to 30 per cent as it emerged the possible cancellation of the November home tests could leave a £12 million hole in the budget.

Wage deferrals announced two weeks ago have now been changed to pay cuts after the worst-case scenario of the coronavirus fall-out was carefully assessed.

Chief executive Mark Dodson will now cut his pay by 30 per cent until 1 September with the rest of the board agreeing to 25 per cent reductions. Dodson and the executive directors will also waive their annual bonuses.

Players earning more than £50,000 will also be asked to take pay cuts until September on a sliding scale of 10%-25%, while over 300 employees are expected to be furloughed.

The salary cuts come after an in-depth examination of what the full impact of COVID-19 might be on the game in this country.

Dodson said Scotland’s three-Test tour to South Africa and New Zealand in July was “very unlikely”, while Scottish Rugby chairman Colin Grassie admitted there was “developing uncertainty” that Murrayfield would be hosting games against Argentina, Japan and the All Blacks in the autumn.

The governing body stands to earn more than £12m from three sell-out fixtures in November but Dodson wrote to staff telling them: “It is because our projected incomes have fallen so sharply, coupled with the increasing unpredictability of any further resumption of any rugby worldwide, that we have to cut costs through this upcoming period.

“The furloughing of staff and salary reductions for senior people reflect the seriousness of the situation.”

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