Hearts captain Steven Naismith accepts 50 per cent wage cut and vows to stay at club
Naismith says he will stay at Hearts regardless of what league they are in next season
Last Updated: 23/03/20 8:38am
Hearts captain Steven Naismith has agreed to take a 50 per cent wage cut to help the club during the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner Ann Budge asked everyone at the Scottish Premiership's bottom team to take a 50 per cent wage cut in order to safeguard the club's future.
It was confirmed on Friday that manager Daniel Stendel has waived his wages entirely after the club requested players and staff take a pay cut.
Naismith has now become the first player to announce that he will take a wage cut, and also vowed to remain with the club regardless of what league they are playing in next season.
The 33-year-old said: "Like my team-mates, I've been thinking a lot about the request from Hearts to reduce our wages by 50 per cent to help the club and protect as many jobs as possible during this uncertain period. I have discussed it at great length with my family.
"The current circumstances put everyone in a very difficult position, but this isn't a problem of Hearts' making.
"My family and I feel that, through a long career, football has been very good to us. Therefore, I personally feel that I can and should accept the 50 per cent reduction in wages.
"I hope this can contribute in some way to the long-term survival of the club at a challenging time and save jobs, especially those that are the lowest earners and hence those who will be struggling the most at this time.
"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.
"As captain of Hearts, I will fully support my team-mates, whatever decision each of them makes on this matter. I am making a commitment to stay at Hearts, regardless of which league the club is in, next season and look forward to continuing to lead as captain.
"I consider it an honour to represent Hearts. I hope this can give some certainty in uncertain times."