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HEARTS PAY CUTS: ‘NO APOLOGY,’ INSISTS OWNER

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CLUB owner Anne Budge insists she makes “no apology” for asking Hearts players to take pay cuts.

In the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, manager Daniel Stendel has waived his wages while skipper Steven Naismith has agreed to a 50 per cent reduction.

Other Tynecastle players are still reviewing their personal situations and options during an extremely difficult period for the Premiership’s rock-bottom team who do not know which division they will be playing in next season.

In a lengthy statement, Budge responded to reports in various news outlets about playing staff refusing to co-operate with the club asking them to waive half of their salaries.

The Edinburgh club’s chief said in a statement: “For the sake of our supporters, I need to address the enormous amount of ill-informed and self-opinionated commentary coming from some sections of the media at the moment.

“In line with most other Clubs, we aim to hold sufficient cash reserves to cover two to three months of normal trading operations.

“The reason we are implementing cost control measures is because we could be facing up to six months of totally abnormal 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.”

Budge added that “most staff” have agreed to wage cuts, but that “a number of players” are still reviewing their personal situations.

It comes following the announcement that the club are set to miss out on £1million of income next month following the emergency suspension of worldwide football.

The SFA have made a £1.5million fund available to clubs due to the disruption.

Meanwhile, Hearts have decided to delay transferring Budge’s controlling stake in the club to the Foundation of Hearts, the fan group has announced.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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