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Hearts warn players their wages will be suspended if they refuse 50 per cent pay cut

Hearts owner Ann Budge has written a letter to the club’s players warning them their wages will be suspended from March 31 if they do not accept a 50 per cent wage cut.

Hearts are set to miss out on £1m of income next month following the suspension of Scottish football amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Budge has warned the club will not survive a six-month shutdown without implementing cuts.

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Hearts delay transfer of Ann Budge’s shares to Foundation of Hearts amid coronavirus disruption

Hearts have decided to delay transferring owner Ann Budge’s controlling stake in the club to the Foundation of Hearts (FoH), the fan group has announced.

Budge was due to hand over her majority shareholding in April but the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic has forced a postponement.

  • Naismith accepts 50 per cent wage cut
  • Scottish FA tells clubs to stop training
  • ‘Hearts’ pay cut could lead to domino effect’

Initially scheduled last year, the transfer of shares to the foundation was put back with funds diverted into the new main stand at Tynecastle instead.

FoH chairman Stuart Wallace told members in an email: “Given the troubled situation, the board of the Foundation of Hearts has taken the decision that this is not the time to be adding any further potential disruption by pushing forward with the handover of the majority shareholding.

“All parties remain totally committed to fan ownership and this handover will, of course, still happen, but such a historic event must be conducted at a more settled time – a time when the handover enables the club to proceed seamlessly with its business and a time when we can properly celebrate the achievement of the fans in reaching this milestone.

“Sadly, this is not a time when any of us, we believe, has the inclination for a celebration, however well merited.”

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Hearts captain Steven Naismith accepts 50 per cent wage cut and vows to stay at club

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.

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