New Zealand Rugby slashes salaries, fears huge losses

01 April 2020 - 09:29 By AFP
New Zealand's captain Kieran Read (L) leads the team in the "haka". File photo
New Zealand's captain Kieran Read (L) leads the team in the "haka". File photo
Image: Marty Melville / AFP

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced wage cuts for all staff on Wednesday, warning the coronavirus pandemic could cost it up to US$60m in lost revenue.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said under a worst case scenario Super Rugby teams and the All Blacks would not be able to take the field this year.

He said the union needed to staunch cash outgoings and staff had agreed to a 40 percent pay cut for the next three months, with talks underway with players.

"It's an incredibly challenging time, we have fantastic rugby people all around the country at the moment dealing with difficult financial circumstances," he told reporters.

Robinson said he had been in contact with the global governing body World Rugby about the prospect of NZR receiving financial support.

"They're going through a process of gathering as much information as they can, once they digest that I'd imagine they'll come back to us with some ideas," he said.

NZR said it had made emergency grants of NZ$250,000 to each of New Zealand's five Super Rugby clubs to tide them over for the next three months.

"These decisions are about protecting the core capability of the Super Rugby clubs so that they are ready to hit the ground running if Super Rugby resumes later this year," he said.