Hearts owner Ann Budge makes 'no apology' for implementing wage cuts
Budge says Hearts cannot survive a six-month shutdown without implementing 50 per cent wage cuts
Last Updated: 26/03/20 1:43pm
Hearts owner Ann Budge says she makes "no apology" for asking the club's players to take wage cuts, adding that a number of players are still reviewing their personal situations, amid coronavirus disruption.
In a lengthy statement, Budge responded to reports in various media outlets about players at the Scottish Premiership side refusing to co-operate with the club asking team members to waive half of their salaries.
Budge sent a letter to all players and staff requesting they take a 50 per cent wage cut last week.
The Hearts owner said in a statement on Thursday: "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."
She added that "most staff" have agreed to wage cuts, but that "a number of players" are still reviewing their personal situations.
It comes following Budge's announcement that Hearts are set to miss out on £1m of income next month following the suspension of Scottish football due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SFA has made a £1.5m 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 (FoH), the fan group has announced.