IRFU agrees pay reduction compromise with players for six-month period

Players earning over €25k will take a 10% cut and a 10% deferral until the end of the year

The IRFU and Rugby Players Ireland (RPI) have agreed on a 10 per cent salary reduction and a 10 per cent salary deferral, both for the period from July 1st to December 31st, 2020 for players earning in excess of €25,000 per annum.

The union initially sought a 20 per cent pay cut for all staff, playing and non-playing, a proposal that the RPI rejected, but following four rounds of talks agreement was reached between the two parties. The IRFU released a statement in which outlined some of the terms on a reduction in players’ remuneration during the aforementioned six-month period.

It stated that there will be no impact for players on salaries up to €25,000 per annum but for players on salaries over €25,000 “a 10 per cent reduction from July 1st to December 31st, 2020 and a 10 per cent salary deferral with five per cent subject to a retrospective salary reduction pending the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: "Irish rugby, like all sports organisations, businesses and society in general, has been severely impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis with major uncertainty continuing around our future financial income streams.


“The IRFU, the provinces and clubs remain in a highly precarious financial situation, making it critically important that an agreement was reached on this matter.”

RPI chief executive Simon Keogh said: "Aware of the significant challenges facing not just rugby but the country as a whole as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe the agreement reached is reflective of our shared ambition to see rugby at all levels continue to thrive.

“We would like to acknowledge the good working relationship with the IRFU that has underpinned the process and will continue to contribute to Ireland’s on-field success. The players have already returned to work and are focused on preparing for the much-anticipated return to competitive rugby in August.”