Scottish Rugby announces pay deferrals for employees

Date published: March 31 2020

Scottish Rugby have announced that their employees will take a 25 to 30 per cent pay deferral to help the organisation save money during the coronavirus pandemic.

The governing body issued a statement on Tuesday which said: “The board of Scottish Rugby met on Friday 27 March by conference call to discuss once again the on-going impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on both the sport in Scotland and Scottish Rugby as an organisation.

“The welfare of all our staff, clubs and players were top of the agenda and a full discussion held on the steps put in place to ensure they are all supported at this difficult time.

“It was noted that significant and detailed work is also on-going, at a pace, to review the considerable financial impacts on Scottish Rugby and the game in Scotland at all levels in respect of COVID-19.

The board approved the following measures:

– A 30 per cent salary deferral from April 1st to September 1st for the CEO (Mark Dodson) and a 25 per cent salary deferral for the same period for the executive and non-executive directors.

– Additionally, the country’s three main head coaches Gregor Townsend (Scotland), Richard Cockerill (Edinburgh) and Dave Rennie (Glasgow Warriors) have also agreed to a 25 per cent salary/fees deferral alongside Jim Mallinder director of performance rugby for the same period, as appropriate.

These initial steps and other steps will be reviewed ongoing in light of the challenge the sport faces.

Chairman of the Scottish Rugby board, Colin Grassie said: “We are working extremely hard to navigate the sport of rugby in Scotland through these extremely challenging times. We would like to thank all our staff, sponsors, stakeholders for their support and collaboration.

“We have a huge challenge ahead of us, but we will get there together and we will leave no stone left unturned to ensure the long term sustainability of Scottish Rugby and the sport in Scotland.”

In addition, various business scenarios are being considered in respect of resumption of professional and international rugby and detailed financial modelling activities are ongoing against each scenario.

It was noted that similar to other organisations which faced key events and games being postponed or cancelled has had, and will continue to have, a significant material impact on our finances ongoing.

The board was provided an update on PRO14, EPCR and Six Nations in respect of the challenges all these organisations that support their finances were also having.

Scottish Rugby are currently closely analysing the Scottish government support options being offered to organisations so that they (Scottish Rugby) will continue to feed this into informing their actions.

It was noted by the board that the evolving crisis gripping the country will have significant challenges for the game at all levels in Scotland for some time to come.

Once the board has further considered the relevant information and its potential impacts it will share a further update with their staff and stakeholders.

Scottish Rugby have also offered its full support to the Scottish government and the board were unanimous in wanting the organisation to contribute to the national effort in any way possible.

It was noted that Murrayfield had already been offered to the Scottish government to utilise the facilities in any way the country needs.

Scottish Rugby also revealed the following:

– Scottish Rugby’s “Threat Management Group” continues to meet via video conferencing each day to discuss key operational topics in light of COVID-19 including updates on health, their people, finance, professional and domestic rugby competitions, rugby development, stadium and facilities amongst other critical matters.

– All work on Project Eden, the new stadium for Edinburgh Rugby development on the Murrayfield back pitches, has been suspended until further notice in line with public health guidelines.

– Scottish Rugby continues to work closely with World Rugby and its fellow unions in relation to the international calendar moving forward and has no update on the planned 2020 July tour at this time.

– Full support given to promoting government public health messaging across Scottish Rugby’s own channels and joined the #LightitBlue campaign in recognition of the National Health Service (NHS) last week.

– All non-critical capital expenditure on Murrayfield stadium and wider projects placed on hold until further notice.