There is fire on the mountain for the players of Hearts Football Club in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) as the owner of the club, Ann Budge, sent a letter to them threatening the players that the wages of any player who refuses a pay cut would be suspended from March 31st.
Budge wants the players to accept a 50% pay cut because the club cannot survive the suspension of the league if the wage burden on the club is not reduced drastically.
Recall that just like other major leagues across the world, the SPFL has been forced to suspend all footballing activities until the COVID-19 pandemic is contained and it becomes safe for social gatherings to continue.
Hearts FC is set to miss out on £1m of revenue in April following the suspension of Scottish football and Budge has warned the club will not survive a six-month shutdown without implementing pay cut.
Many clubs owners across the globe are turning to pay cut as the major way to remain afloat during the pandemic. Players of other clubs like Bayern Munich, Leeds United, and Borussia Dortmund, have already accepted a pay cut in order to guaranty the continuous financial survival of their clubs.
So, Budge feels it is the way to go for the Hearts FC. “The reason we are implementing cost control measures is that we could be facing up to six months of totally abnormal operations”, she said.
No Apologies for Pay Cut
Her intention to suspend the wages of the players who may kick against a 50% pay cut is cemented by the SPFL which advised club owners on Friday, March 27, 2020, that they have the power to suspend the contracts of players if the football association suspends football.
In light of this, Ann Budge said: “In line with most other Clubs, we aim to hold sufficient cash reserves to cover two to three months of normal trading operations.
“Given that we all know we have to plan for that eventuality, I see absolutely no reason for sitting back and waiting either on a miracle or for the Government to bail out every company in the country… in a timely enough manner.
“Neither of these options is likely to happen and, therefore, I make no apology for putting immediate plans in place to mitigate the problems heading our way.
“Nor do I make any apology for being open and transparent with staff, players and supporters about the potential scale of the issue.
“Faced with this unprecedented set of circumstances, it is incumbent upon all employers to be totally upfront and open with their staff. They, too, have to be able to plan.”
Meanwhile, the captain of Hearts, Steven Naismith has accepted the 50 per cent pay cut and the coach of the team, Daniel Stendel has agreed to work for the club for free until the coronavirus pandemic is over.