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IRFU announce pay deferrals for all employees due to coronavirus break

With rugby on-hold indefinitely, the IRFU have taken the drastic step of implementing pay deferra...

With rugby on-hold indefinitely, the IRFU have taken the drastic step of implementing pay deferrals for all employees. 

It was confirmed on Thursday that the domestic rugby season had been ended with immediate effect, with all cups shared between finalists and promotion and relegation set aside.

The provinces are also in limbo with the COVID-19 pandemic leaving the Guinness PRO14 suspended indefinitely and the grand final cancelled.

The IRFU say the pay deferrals are based on "an equitable sliding scale" and range from 10% to 50%.

Speaking of the decision, IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said, "We are entering uncharted waters as the Covid-19 crisis continues to unfold but we remain hopeful that something of this season can be retrieved later in summer.

"This is important as the whole game, amateur and professional, is financially dependent on the resumptio" of the professional tournaments and the revenues that they generate.

"With postponement of these tournaments the IRFU and the Provinces are facing some daunting financial challenges around loss of revenue and cash flow and we must cut our costs."

The IRFU say they've worked closely with all four provinces on the matter along with the players union - Rugby Players Ireland - to protect the future of Irish rugby, adding "this arrangement will allow Irish Rugby the breathing space required in relation to cashflow that can ensure that when this crisis abates, we still have a business that can deliver for all those that play and love rugby.

"The situation will obviously remain under continuous review in case further action is required."

Rugby Players Ireland CEO Simon Keogh said of the move, "We recognise the need to work with the IRFU with respect to these payment deferrals in light of the current circumstances.

"All endeavours have been made to contact those affected on an individual basis.

"Our members appreciate that such moves are necessary in order to protect the future of the game in this country.

"The health and safety of the public is the priority at this time. We will continue to work with the IRFU as this situation develops."

The issue of funding amid the pandemic is not merely an Irish one.

The Welsh Rugby Union announced financial support for its clubs with their season also ended prematurely.

Meanwhile, two English Premiership sides have announced pay cuts because of the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Wasps and Worcester Warriors will cut wages by 25% from April 1st.

It's understood other Premiership clubs are consulting with their players over similar measures, including crisis club Saracens.

Both Wasps and Worcester say the belt tightening exercise won't apply to lower paid staff.

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AIL Connacht Energia All-Ireland League Guinness Pro14 IRFU Irish Rugby Leinster Munster Philip Browne Pro 14 Ulster