Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle has taken a further cut to her own salary in the hope the union and its players can agree to wage cuts before next week.
Castle had already taken a 50 per cent cut off her $849,000 salary, but on Thursday revealed she was taking another 15 per cent cut on top of that – reducing it to $297,000.
“We’ve been head down concentrating on trying to find a plan that protects the long term viability of the game, looking under every rock to try to save every penny we can to make sure the game is on a stable footing for the long term,” Castle told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Off the back of that I’ve decided to take an additional 15 per cent that will take my pay cut to 65 per cent.
“Overnight 80 per cent of the game’s revenue was turned off and, at the time, taking a 50 per cent pay cut was the best thing I felt I could do to lead in this unprecedented situation. After another few weeks of work, the right number is 65 per cent.
“It’s the right thing to do. I have made that decision and recommended it to the board because we’re facing really tough times and have to make these calls. Like everyone through the game that’s had to stand down and make difficult decisions, I’m no different.”
Talks are expected to resume between Rugby Australia and the Rugby Union Players’ Association on Saturday, after the parties were unable to strike a resolution on Thursday.
It is believed Rugby Australia has asked players to take 65 per cent pay cuts until the end of September.
Last week, the nation’s governing body stood down 75 per cent of their non-player workforce after announcing a near $10 million loss.
Rugby Australia was hopeful a domestic competition will be up and running in the third quarter of the year, but Castle did not put an end date on her own salary sacrifice.
“I know the players are hurting as much as we are; they want to be out playing footy again and they’re facing extreme uncertainty,” Castle told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“They also recognise that they need to come to the party and I’m hopeful that on Saturday we can find a resolution that allows us to confront the challenging period the game is in.”
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