The majority of the Hearts squad has agreed to cuts to ensure the Tynecastle club can survive the coronavirus crisis. Only two players are still said to be negotiating with club owner Ann Budge with majority of the players having agreed to club imposed wage cuts ranging between 10 to 30 per cent.
Previously Ann Budge had issued a 5 pm deadline for players to conclude negotiations regarding wage cuts and had stated that players who refuse to comply with the issued wage cuts would face contract suspension and unpaid wages from the next month onwards by invoking clause 12 in their contracts.
Club captain Steve Naismith was the first player to take a 50% wage cut when club first broke the news asking players to agree to a wage cut. First team manager Daniel Stendel has also since been working for free.
Hearts players have been given until 5pm to agree to a temporary wage cut or face having their contracts suspended https://t.co/KFEj8bhb0N
— Edinburgh Live Sport (@EdLiveSport) April 27, 2020
The playing squad always seemed inclined to do their part and help the clubs in this moment of crisis by preferring to defer their wages, something that other clubs like Celtic, Rangers, Hibs and Aberdeen have been doing during this time but Ann Budge stated on Friday that deferrals were “simply not an option” for Hearts.
She made it clear that deferral are something that she is vehemently against because the rationale behind putting the club in debts is something that is ‘simply not an option’ for the Jambos.
“I outlined the rationale and also explained why a deferral is simply not an option for the club. To reiterate, I cannot – and will not, in good conscience – leave the club in a position again where football debt is left as a ‘legacy’ for those who follow,
I know too well the perils of that scenario, having arrived at the club to be immediately presented with a bill of almost £1m worth of football debt. I am an owner and supporter who is committed to the journey of full fan ownership and it is imperative that the handover takes place without that future financial burden.”
With no matches, recurring revenue and football being indefinitely shut down since the March of 13th, the Edinburgh club face a £3million financial hit if the present season is called of and they are relegated.
With the players accepting a large pay cut, Hearts are going to be in a much better scenario financially than other clubs with most of their club staff intact and playing staff onboard.
Hearts are presently sitting bottom of the Premiership with chairman Ann Budge co-chairing the committee along with Hamilton chairman Les Gray, tasked with exploring league reconstruction proposal that SPFL have initiated. The reconstruction committee is presently exploring the possibility of restructuring the league to a 14 member or 16 member scenario which would prevent relegation for Hearts and Hamilton Accies.