Hearts striker Naismith accepts 50% wage cut

Tynecastle star hopes decision will ensure long-term surival of the club and save jobs.

Hearts striker Steven Naismith says he will accept a 50% wage cut to help the Tynecastle club’s finances.

In a statement issued on his behalf on Sunday, Naisimith said he hoped the move would “contribute in some way to the long-term survival of the club at a challenging time and save jobs”.

Earlier this month, Hearts asked all players and staff to accept a 50% cut in wages in order to stave off the effects of the current football shutdown.

The move is one of a series of changes being made by Hearts owner Ann Budge to deal with what she calls “unprecedented and challenging times” owing to the effects of coronavirus and the suspension of all professional football.

The Scottish Football Association says all football in Scotland remains suspended indefinitely and will not resume before 30 April.

Naismith said he had discussed the proposed wage cut at great length with his family.

He said: “The current circumstances put everyone in a very difficult position, but this isn’t a problem of Hearts’ making.

“I know every one of my team mates have unique circumstances with their finances, homes and families. I can assure everyone they are all doing what they can.”

Budge said the consequences of no matchday income or related revenue means that swift action has to be taken.

That includes asking all staff to take a 50% pay cut from the start of April until football starts again.

However, Budge has said that no employee would be asked to take a cut that would place them below the annual Living Wage of £18,135.

Staff or players who cannot accept the reduction will be offered contract termination as an alternative.

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