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50% Wage cut for players and staff (confirmed by club)

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JamboAl
7 minutes ago, Last Laff said:


Is it a three month agreement on half pay?

 

Why should they also sell their cars and go on half wages when they got sold to come to the club on them? They are human beings also and will want most importantly the best for them or their families and not a football club that happened to pay more money than they could get elsewhere.  
 

Try telling Liam Boyce he should cut his wages in two a few months into a three year deal.  He’s probably moved his family against their wishes up to Scotland mid season because the money was great, he goes back to his family and tells them he’s now taken a pay cut when he turned down numerous other clubs to come to hearts?

 

Player loyalty towards clubs went away a long time ago.  It’s a very short career if players don’t have many more skills than being a footballer also.  They need to make as much money probably for a lifetime in a small period of time. 

The one clear thing from your opening paragraph is that you haven't a clue what the true situation is when you have to ask a question.

Firstly it is a request to take half pay from next month which if accepted it would mean a reduction in take home pay of something maybe around 25% - 30%*.  F.or example, if someone earns £4k per week their gross pay will be halved but they'll save £900 per week in tax alone.

The second thing is that if everyone refuses the offer and this shutdown goes on for too long they'll get a 100% reduction in their pay.  That's because they will be made redundant as the club (any club) could only go on for so long paying out wages with no money coming in - unless you have some wonderful solution.

 

*PS - Hope my arithmetic is right as I haven't bothered to calculate any reduction in Nat Ins..

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Cruyff
4 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

The one clear thing from your opening paragraph is that you haven't a clue what the true situation is when you have to ask a question.

Firstly it is a request to take half pay from next month which if accepted it would mean a reduction in take home pay of something maybe around 25% - 30%*.  F.or example, if someone earns £4k per week their gross pay will be halved but they'll save £900 per week in tax alone.

The second thing is that if everyone refuses the offer and this shutdown goes on for too long they'll get a 100% reduction in their pay.  That's because they will be made redundant as the club (any club) could only go on for so long paying out wages with no money coming in - unless you have some wonderful solution.

 

*PS - Hope my arithmetic is right as I haven't bothered to calculate any reduction in Nat Ins..

You are right, it is merely a request. 

 

The players who are under contract - legally Hearts cannot force them to take a pay cut, nor can they tear up their contracts if they do not agree without paying up those contracts in full or negotiating a settlement. 

 

It is entirely voluntary. 

 

The only way Hearts can probably make players redundant or release them is if we file for voluntary administration. 

 

Perhaps some Hearts players cannot afford to take pay cuts because they are committed to mortgages etc.. and would be unable to pay.

 

I can understand their predicament but I think it is probably a neccessity that we make this request. 

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Last Laff
43 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

The one clear thing from your opening paragraph is that you haven't a clue what the true situation is when you have to ask a question.

Firstly it is a request to take half pay from next month which if accepted it would mean a reduction in take home pay of something maybe around 25% - 30%*.  F.or example, if someone earns £4k per week their gross pay will be halved but they'll save £900 per week in tax alone.

The second thing is that if everyone refuses the offer and this shutdown goes on for too long they'll get a 100% reduction in their pay.  That's because they will be made redundant as the club (any club) could only go on for so long paying out wages with no money coming in - unless you have some wonderful solution.

 

*PS - Hope my arithmetic is right as I haven't bothered to calculate any reduction in Nat Ins..


I was being sarcastic to the poster.  You surely aren’t so thick to think I was asking him a legit question :lol: 

 

The rest is irony overload, you ask questions and alternatives every single day on this forum pal. 
 

So it’s a request with a little part of blackmail? The players and staff that have been asked of this request should be given the decency of being advised of the true potential of the severity, just in case your complete guess work is correct.

 

They could also be made redundant if it goes on for so long regardless of being asked to take a wage cut of 50% of their annual income before tax. 
 

Would you take a 50% cut of your annual pay on the say so you might be redundant in a few months (how many nobody knows)? When you could be that amazing at asking questions or acting like a tit that another company may take you on if your company (if your work, sorry) isn’t transparent? 
 

Any idea Al, if the club has been fully transparent of the severity of the situation if they don’t take a pay cut or are you just completely guessing there may be redundancies? 

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Last Laff
31 minutes ago, Cruyff said:

You are right, it is merely a request. 

 

The players who are under contract - legally Hearts cannot force them to take a pay cut, nor can they tear up their contracts if they do not agree without paying up those contracts in full or negotiating a settlement. 

 

It is entirely voluntary. 

 

The only way Hearts can probably make players redundant or release them is if we file for voluntary administration. 

 

Perhaps some Hearts players cannot afford to take pay cuts because they are committed to mortgages etc.. and would be unable to pay.

 

I can understand their predicament but I think it is probably a neccessity that we make this request. 


Wholeheartedly agree. 

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Smithee
3 hours ago, Captain Canada said:

Looks like the majority of players are going to refuse a cut and insist on a deferral as per Birmingham City. 

Fair enough, I believe article 12 means they can be let go without anything though 

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Jambotommy
9 hours ago, Seymour M Hersh said:

 

Back to 1914 with Heart of Midlothian leading the way for football. 

Great Post 👍

Edited by Jambotommy

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Marvin
7 hours ago, JohnB said:

Birmingham City have asked their players to take wage deferrals because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those earning more than £6,000 per week have been asked to accept a 50% cut for the next four months by the club - the first to do so in the Championship.

 

Bayern and Dortmund, 2 of the biggest clubs in Germany have asked their players to take a pay cut too.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52036612

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A_A wehatethehibs
9 minutes ago, Marvin said:

 

Bayern and Dortmund, 2 of the biggest clubs in Germany have asked their players to take a pay cut too.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52036612


Has Tam McManus been approached for comment on this? We’re all interested to know exactly what he’d have done if he were a player when the coronavirus wiped out football. 

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Smithee
3 minutes ago, A_A wehatethehibs said:


Has Tam McManus been approached for comment on this? We’re all interested to know exactly what he’d have done if he were a player when the coronavirus wiped out football. 

I'm thinking of getting a W.W.T.M.S? bracelet.

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Longshanks
6 hours ago, Cruyff said:

You are right, it is merely a request. 

 

The players who are under contract - legally Hearts cannot force them to take a pay cut, nor can they tear up their contracts if they do not agree without paying up those contracts in full or negotiating a settlement. 

 

It is entirely voluntary. 

 

The only way Hearts can probably make players redundant or release them is if we file for voluntary administration. 

 

Perhaps some Hearts players cannot afford to take pay cuts because they are committed to mortgages etc.. and would be unable to pay.

 

I can understand their predicament but I think it is probably a neccessity that we make this request. 

 

Only part of this I disagree with is that I'm sure our players can just rip up their contract and walk away, we have offered the players 50% reduction or walk away from contract was the original statement.  Of course players can choose to carry on with full pay as well. 

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Mysterion
14 minutes ago, Longshanks said:

 

Only part of this I disagree with is that I'm sure our players can just rip up their contract and walk away, we have offered the players 50% reduction or walk away from contract was the original statement.  Of course players can choose to carry on with full pay as well. 


It’s was highlighted that Ann Budge has identified a clause in standard contracts that allow a player be offered these terms in specific circumstances or the option to walk away without a pay off. It was also highlighted that the rest of the football CEOs didn’t know about it.
 

Maybe deferral would be preferable but from a business decision the 50% cut is 100% the right one. Players are trying now to negotiate and I suspect that may happen however as a club I think we should hold firm. 

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ford donald
7 hours ago, Cruyff said:

You are right, it is merely a request. 

 

The players who are under contract - legally Hearts cannot force them to take a pay cut, nor can they tear up their contracts if they do not agree without paying up those contracts in full or negotiating a settlement. 

 

It is entirely voluntary. 

 

The only way Hearts can probably make players redundant or release them is if we file for voluntary administration. 

 

Perhaps some Hearts players cannot afford to take pay cuts because they are committed to mortgages etc.. and would be unable to pay.

 

I can understand their predicament but I think it is probably a neccessity that we make this request. 

 

The performances of some of the players this season,half wages would be overpaying them,shower of losers!

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Holyrood_Hearts
1 hour ago, A_A wehatethehibs said:


Has Tam McManus been approached for comment on this? We’re all interested to know exactly what he’d have done if he were a player when the coronavirus wiped out football. 

I see he’s changed his profile pic to him celebrating a goal against us in a game they didn’t win 😂

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Holyrood_Hearts
10 minutes ago, ford donald said:

 

The performances of some of the players this season,half wages would be overpaying them,shower of losers!

I completely agree with you. Some of the them have been an embarrassment to the jersey this season

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JamboAl
7 hours ago, Last Laff said:


I was being sarcastic to the poster.  You surely aren’t so thick to think I was asking him a legit question :lol: 

 

The rest is irony overload, you ask questions and alternatives every single day on this forum pal. 
 

So it’s a request with a little part of blackmail? The players and staff that have been asked of this request should be given the decency of being advised of the true potential of the severity, just in case your complete guess work is correct.

 

They could also be made redundant if it goes on for so long regardless of being asked to take a wage cut of 50% of their annual income before tax. 
 

Would you take a 50% cut of your annual pay on the say so you might be redundant in a few months (how many nobody knows)? When you could be that amazing at asking questions or acting like a tit that another company may take you on if your company (if your work, sorry) isn’t transparent? 
 

Any idea Al, if the club has been fully transparent of the severity of the situation if they don’t take a pay cut or are you just completely guessing there may be redundancies? 

 

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JamboAl
14 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

 

FAO Sarcastic Laff

I ask questions to clarify some of the nonsense you write.  I think you are now  trying to wriggle.

You say it's a request with a ittle bit of blackmail which ignores the financial reality which is that job loss will come much sooner if they stick on full pay and so will the demise of the club.

I think I would take a 50% cut in the circumstances provided everyone else did.  My 50% reduction alone would be unlikely to save the club.

Your last question displays how totally ignorant you are.  How could the club be fully transparent of the severity of the situation when they don't know themselves.  Even scientists don't know.  Have you got the answer?

Edited by JamboAl

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Longshanks
1 hour ago, Mysterion said:


It’s was highlighted that Ann Budge has identified a clause in standard contracts that allow a player be offered these terms in specific circumstances or the option to walk away without a pay off. It was also highlighted that the rest of the football CEOs didn’t know about it.
 

Maybe deferral would be preferable but from a business decision the 50% cut is 100% the right one. Players are trying now to negotiate and I suspect that may happen however as a club I think we should hold firm. 

 

That's all very well but my understanding is that the players also have an option to just walk away from the club, that's the point I'm making. 

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Nookie Bear
9 hours ago, Last Laff said:


Is it a three month agreement on half pay?

 

Why should they also sell their cars and go on half wages when they got sold to come to the club on them? They are human beings also and will want most importantly the best for them or their families and not a football club that happened to pay more money than they could get elsewhere.  
 

Try telling Liam Boyce he should cut his wages in two a few months into a three year deal.  He’s probably moved his family against their wishes up to Scotland mid season because the money was great, he goes back to his family and tells them he’s now taken a pay cut when he turned down numerous other clubs to come to hearts?

 

Player loyalty towards clubs went away a long time ago.  It’s a very short career if players don’t have many more skills than being a footballer also.  They need to make as much money probably for a lifetime in a small period of time. 

 

Not disagreeing with your post but Boyce would be facing an identical situation had he stayed at Burton, or gone somewhere else.

 

Personally i felt the thing should have been discussed with the players in terms of a voluntary reduction in wages - perhaps this could have been done with the top few earners privately - and then pushed out to the wider playing staff. It is hoped that, like Naismith, they would have understood the situation. Of course, anyone refusing to drop wages could change their mind later if this drags on.

 

If that is not enough then AB could start to drawing lines in the sand.

 

And one thing really disgusts me: people on here using this situation as an excuse to clear out the deadwood.

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Nookie Bear
3 minutes ago, Longshanks said:

 

That's all very well but my understanding is that the players also have an option to just walk away from the club, that's the point I'm making. 

 

Hopefully Hickey, Souttar, Smith, Clare etc take the cut...

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JamboAl
8 minutes ago, Nookie Bear said:

 

Not disagreeing with your post but Boyce would be facing an identical situation had he stayed at Burton, or gone somewhere else.

 

Personally i felt the thing should have been discussed with the players in terms of a voluntary reduction in wages - perhaps this could have been done with the top few earners privately - and then pushed out to the wider playing staff. It is hoped that, like Naismith, they would have understood the situation. Of course, anyone refusing to drop wages could change their mind later if this drags on.

 

If that is not enough then AB could start to drawing lines in the sand.

 

And one thing really disgusts me: people on here using this situation as an excuse to clear out the deadwood.

And you know for a fact it wasn't discussed with the players (and other staff)?

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David Bennett

Just reported that Leeds players, coaching staff and management team have agreed to take a wage deferral. No indication of percentage involved.

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Jambo92

Says alot about this group of players that they are dragging their feet with a temporary wage cut. 

Dont give me the short career chat, the world is in disarray, many people on £90 a week and footballers crying because they wont be able to afford the new Porsche if they take wage cuts.

 

The only positive to come out of this is that we manage to weed out the gutless ones.

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Nookie Bear
14 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

And you know for a fact it wasn't discussed with the players (and other staff)?

 

I doubt anyone on here knows many "facts" but we are all welcome to give our opinion.

 

But this part of the statement, "Staff and players alike, who feel unable or unwilling to accept this revision to their contracts, will, of course, be offered the option of contract termination" is a definite line in the sand that i did not feel was necessary at that stage. What we do not know, of course, is if this statement came on the back of informal discussions that showed the players were refusing to budge, ro were not understanding the bigger picture.

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Nookie Bear
8 minutes ago, Jambo92 said:

Says alot about this group of players that they are dragging their feet with a temporary wage cut. 

Dont give me the short career chat, the world is in disarray, many people on £90 a week and footballers crying because they wont be able to afford the new Porsche if they take wage cuts.

 

The only positive to come out of this is that we manage to weed out the gutless ones.

 

Firstly, most of the Hearts team do not earn enough to drive Porsches

 

Secondly, according to Labour, 5% of the population in 2015 were earning £70k+ per year so i am not sure why footballers should be getting targeted any more than the 1million plus in the country who earn just as much.

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busby1985

So the players are going to reject the proposal. Have we ever had a group of players this out of touch with reality? They are upset cause Stendel makes them train. Now they won’t accept reducing their wages to help save guard the club. I’ve honestly never known a side I’ve disliked or had no connection with as much as this one. 

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IveSeenTheLight
25 minutes ago, David Bennett said:

Just reported that Leeds players, coaching staff and management team have agreed to take a wage deferral. No indication of percentage involved.

 

By wage deferral, that means they will be entitled to the deferred value at a later date?

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Ibrahim Tall

Tbh if the players are insisting on a deferral I’d hardly consider that a reason to slate them. We signed contracts promising those wages, it’s hardly a ‘*****’ move to agree to get them a later than promised date when things(& income) returns to normal.


Sure, Naismith etc should be commended for agreeing a reduction in general but not everyone is in the same situation personally and financially.

 

Edited by Ibrahim Tall

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busby1985
3 minutes ago, Ibrahim Tall said:

Tbh if the players are insisting on a deferral I’d hardly consider that a reason to slate them. We signed contracts promising those wages, it’s hardly a ‘*****’ move to agree to get them a later than promised date when things(& income) returns to normal.


Sure, Naismith etc should be commended for agreeing a reduction in general but not everyone is in the same situation personally and financially.

 

True. But when you factor in the fact that they are currently responsible for us being bottom of the league begging for coronavirus to save our season, 8 games to go and 4 points adrift having just lost our biggest game of the season without a shot on target. They have put together a league campaign that seen 3 league wins in the whole of 2019 and so far have only managed 2 league wins on 2020. Then add in that they have cried and moaned and ran to the press at every decision Stendel has made. They are unhappy at being asked to attend matches when they are injured and asked to train with the side daily when they are recovering. They are upset with the training methods and at the thought of being asked to become fitter. They hate playing at tynie as they hate playing in front of their own fans cause they think we are unfair on them. Add all that together with the fact that our owner has gathered them together and laid out the facts that we are in unprecedented times and the club face real financial problems so we need them to do us a favour to save jobs and they have said no. Not only have they said no but they’ve leaked stories to the press and told anyone that would listen “off the record” that they aren’t happy about it. I’ve honestly never known a group of players I’ve disliked as much as this one. 

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JamboAl
30 minutes ago, Nookie Bear said:

 

I doubt anyone on here knows many "facts" but we are all welcome to give our opinion.

 

But this part of the statement, "Staff and players alike, who feel unable or unwilling to accept this revision to their contracts, will, of course, be offered the option of contract termination" is a definite line in the sand that i did not feel was necessary at that stage. What we do not know, of course, is if this statement came on the back of informal discussions that showed the players were refusing to budge, ro were not understanding the bigger picture.

That is an alternative offer which some might choose to take if it suits their circumstances.  They do not have to take that either.

How long do you reckon the club can last paying full wages with no money coming in?

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Sir Gio

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52048216

 

Leeds story here, I think Phil Hay was suggesting salaries would be capped at 6kpw, the players quite rightly have agreed to this, I'm sure that will buy enough bogroll, to protect the admin staff and so on, on sane money.

 

Oh and for Mikey and Gary and Biscuits if you are tuning in, I'm sure Leeds will be spending money in the summer

Edited by Sir Gio

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Sir Gio

Since the league is suspended, use the clause for anyone Stendel deems unsuitable. Some folk are getting 94 quid a week to live on, banks are understanding at the moment, they will live

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busby1985
5 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

That is an alternative offer which some might choose to take if it suits their circumstances.  They do not have to take that either.

How long do you reckon the club can last paying full wages with no money coming in?

Interesting that, that minging wee Dick Paul McGowan said in his open goal podcast appearance that the PFA had written to all players. He said that they had warned them that there is something in their contracts which means their clubs can stop paying them during this time. So when our players reject the proposal I assume all will let be let go, or at least I hope they will be. 

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Victorian

That would be tremendous.    Let them terminate their contracts and then discover that their future earnings prospects are lower than a worm's jobby.

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JamboAl
6 minutes ago, busby1985 said:

Interesting that, that minging wee Dick Paul McGowan said in his open goal podcast appearance that the PFA had written to all players. He said that they had warned them that there is something in their contracts which means their clubs can stop paying them during this time. So when our players reject the proposal I assume all will let be let go, or at least I hope they will be. 

Being realistic that seems to be the end game.

It is true that the players did not cause this problem but nor did the clubs.

A bit of common sense on both sides will be required to get round what has been a hitherto unique situation in football.

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Nookie Bear
22 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

That is an alternative offer which some might choose to take if it suits their circumstances.  They do not have to take that either.

How long do you reckon the club can last paying full wages with no money coming in?

 

It therefore appears that, if they do not take the offer, our next move can only be to release them on a free (with the bonus for us that we do not have to pay off their contract...i think?). We can hardly say to one player "ah well, we want to keep you so carry on taking a full wage but this other guy is rubbish so he is getting punted."

 

Perhaps that is why Naismith was happy to accept the cut because his long term earnigns with us dwarf anything he will lose over this?

 

As i said at the beginning, i understand what AB is doing, i really hoped the players would get on board but, ultimately, we have created a situation where we do not have control over who refuses the offer and, subsequently, leaves. A softer start - voluntary or deferred wages - would have given us room to impose tighter measures in the future.

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sac
42 minutes ago, busby1985 said:

True. But when you factor in the fact that they are currently responsible for us being bottom of the league begging for coronavirus to save our season, 8 games to go and 4 points adrift having just lost our biggest game of the season without a shot on target. They have put together a league campaign that seen 3 league wins in the whole of 2019 and so far have only managed 2 league wins on 2020. Then add in that they have cried and moaned and ran to the press at every decision Stendel has made. They are unhappy at being asked to attend matches when they are injured and asked to train with the side daily when they are recovering. They are upset with the training methods and at the thought of being asked to become fitter. They hate playing at tynie as they hate playing in front of their own fans cause they think we are unfair on them. Add all that together with the fact that our owner has gathered them together and laid out the facts that we are in unprecedented times and the club face real financial problems so we need them to do us a favour to save jobs and they have said no. Not only have they said no but they’ve leaked stories to the press and told anyone that would listen “off the record” that they aren’t happy about it. I’ve honestly never known a group of players I’ve disliked as much as this one. 


Makes for pretty stark reading that tbh, but a pretty fair assessment of what’s been going on. 

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Seymour M Hersh
1 hour ago, IveSeenTheLight said:

 

By wage deferral, that means they will be entitled to the deferred value at a later date?

 

Exactly. Take yourself, hypothetically, normally you would be allowed to abuse two sheep in any given week. However you get a deferment for a week and can only abuse the one sheep. The following week however it's a bumper week for you as you get to abuse three!! 

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TypoonJambo
1 hour ago, busby1985 said:

True. But when you factor in the fact that they are currently responsible for us being bottom of the league begging for coronavirus to save our season, 8 games to go and 4 points adrift having just lost our biggest game of the season without a shot on target. They have put together a league campaign that seen 3 league wins in the whole of 2019 and so far have only managed 2 league wins on 2020. Then add in that they have cried and moaned and ran to the press at every decision Stendel has made. They are unhappy at being asked to attend matches when they are injured and asked to train with the side daily when they are recovering. They are upset with the training methods and at the thought of being asked to become fitter. They hate playing at tynie as they hate playing in front of their own fans cause they think we are unfair on them. Add all that together with the fact that our owner has gathered them together and laid out the facts that we are in unprecedented times and the club face real financial problems so we need them to do us a favour to save jobs and they have said no. Not only have they said no but they’ve leaked stories to the press and told anyone that would listen “off the record” that they aren’t happy about it. I’ve honestly never known a group of players I’ve disliked as much as this one. 

Gets my vote for the best post lockdown post. Well said. 

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biffy

Has there been any indication to the players intentions other than trying to negotiate a deferment? 

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Ex member of the SaS
1 hour ago, busby1985 said:

True. But when you factor in the fact that they are currently responsible for us being bottom of the league begging for coronavirus to save our season, 8 games to go and 4 points adrift having just lost our biggest game of the season without a shot on target. They have put together a league campaign that seen 3 league wins in the whole of 2019 and so far have only managed 2 league wins on 2020. Then add in that they have cried and moaned and ran to the press at every decision Stendel has made. They are unhappy at being asked to attend matches when they are injured and asked to train with the side daily when they are recovering. They are upset with the training methods and at the thought of being asked to become fitter. They hate playing at tynie as they hate playing in front of their own fans cause they think we are unfair on them. Add all that together with the fact that our owner has gathered them together and laid out the facts that we are in unprecedented times and the club face real financial problems so we need them to do us a favour to save jobs and they have said no. Not only have they said no but they’ve leaked stories to the press and told anyone that would listen “off the record” that they aren’t happy about it. I’ve honestly never known a group of players I’ve disliked as much as this one. 

Add in the fact they, the players,  are happy to take full pay and watch a low paid back room employee get the boot. Football clubs are not like other companies where employees don't really get to know each other. As a club they are all in this together and for anyone to stand up and say goodbye to anyone is really disgraceful. I will add the caveat that some players may not be able to afford the cut, but for first team players I find this hard to believe. Stand with the club and do what is right by all employees and stop being selfish.

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sandyk

Full statement here for ease of reding:

 

Firstly, I hope you are all well and coping with the changes to daily life and challenges we all are facing in these unprecedented times. Please do continue to follow the latest government advice and stay safe.

There are obviously far more serious concerns in the world at this time and other matters I and those at the Club would rather be focusing on.  I feel, however, 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 particular from The Sun and their usual pundits). 

Please find below an accurate statement regarding how we at Hearts are dealing with the current crisis caused by the Coronavirus global pandemic.

 

Financial Position

Firstly, let me reassure all Hearts’ supporters that our financial position is no worse (nor better) than almost every other senior football club in Scotland, despite the recent continuous supply of mis-information and malicious speculation.

In line with most other Clubs, we aim to hold sufficient cash reserves to cover 2-3 months of normal trading operations.  The reason we are implementing cost control measures is because we could be facing up to 6 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.

In light of so much uncertainty, let me remind all of our supporters of a few important financial principles to which we, at Hearts, subscribe. 

 

Over the last 6 years:

·      We have always lived within our means and have never spent what we did not have.

·      We have not been building up cash reserves beyond the normal levels mentioned above.  Instead we have been investing to secure our long-term future.  I am hopeful that these investments will help us to recover quickly when this crisis is over.

·      We have managed cashflow very tightly during these years of investment.

·      We have NO external debt. While we do have some loans on the books, they relate entirely to money that I, either directly or through Bidco 1874, have provided to the club.  These loans have enabled our investment programme to continue apace.  Let me assure you that I have never had any expectation and nor does the club have any commitment that these will be repaid until the Club’s financial position is secure.

In short, despite the unsubstantiated claims in recent media articles, the financial management of our Club is as tight and professionally sound as any in the country.

 

Cost-cutting plans

Let me move on to explain the approach we are taking to managing down our costs over the next few months.

·      Clearly, Riccarton and Tynecastle are now closed down in line with the Government restrictions.  Equally clearly, however, we have a large number of fixed overheads, the costs of which we still have to cover.

·      The Government has announced a number of packages aimed at helping companies to stay in business during this period of close down.  We are following up on all of these initiatives.  However, in every case the devil is in the detail and none of these packages are as straight-forward as they might seem when reported in the headline announcements.  As an example, although it was announced that Banks would be able to help businesses of our size, having approached our Bank we have been formally advised that their policy towards Football Clubs hasn’t changed and they remain unable to lend to us!  I would stress that we are not alone in this.  This is not a Hearts problem; it is a Football problem.  We will continue to pursue this but it is indicative of the fact that Football is not very high on the list of priority sectors for support.

We are, of course, following up on all other packages including Rates relief and Job Protection schemes.  However, I repeat that there is a dearth of detail available as yet and it is incredibly difficult to be clear on what level of support we can get.

·      Payroll, as with all Clubs of our size, is by far our biggest monthly cost.  Notwithstanding the Job Retention scheme mentioned above, there is little doubt that we will have to implement a salary reduction programme across the Club.  We simply will not survive a 6-month close down, unless we implement this.

I have been roundly criticised for even suggesting such a thing.  However, as you will read below, our staff have been amazing. There is wide-spread recognition that to get through this period, everyone has to stand together and do what they can.  This is the approach most likely to allow us to avoid redundancies and to save jobs and contracts.

 

Standing Together

Since announcing the proposed implementation of a substantial wage cut across all staff, coaches and players, the media pundits have been scathing in their criticism of apparent financial mis-management; clear indications of panicking; and the very suggestion that players should take a cut in wages is clearly a concept they don’t even begin to grasp.  (Possibly, because so many of them are themselves, former players.)  Fortunately, our players do not appear to have this same sense of entitlement. 

 

I have detailed below where we are in our discussions.

·      On Monday, 16th March, I addressed a full gathering of players, coaches and back-room staff and explained the severity of the situation following the shut-down of football on 13th March.  I explained the immediate/short-term implications in financial terms, and stressed that despite what was being said publicly, the consensus, among most people involved in running football clubs in Scotland, was that football was not likely to start again until late July/early August.

I emphasised the importance of maintaining regular dialogue to enable us to provide as much clarity as possible during these uncertain times.  We set up a Communications Group to facilitate this.

 

·      On Tuesday, 17th March, I met with a large group of Senior Managers to discuss the full implications of the close down and to consider options.  Our over-riding principles were:

 

1.     To implement any changes at the end of April to give staff the chance to consider their own personal situations, while awaiting any Government interventions, the benefits from which would be used to limit any wage reductions.

2.     To avoid redundancies and protect all jobs and contracts.

3.     To treat all employees, regardless of status or roles, fairly and equitably.

4.     To take steps to protect staff and players on the lowest earnings.

5.     To ensure everyone knew that they should not panic and that they should discuss any personal financial challenges with their manager, HR or myself.  We would do everything possible to help people meet their financial commitments.

6.     Anyone who wanted to move on from the Club for whatever reason (e.g. disgruntlement, desire to go home/back to families, etc) should talk to us and we would try to help.

 

·      On Wednesday, 18th March, I arranged meetings at Riccarton and at Tynecastle to explain the proposed way forward to all.  I also spoke to Steven Naismith and asked him to relay the message to all players, who were already at home, via the aforementioned Communications Group.

 

Where are we now?

In a very short space of time, we were able to reassure a number of individuals who were worried about meeting their financial commitments; we were able to re-assure others who were worried about being out of contract; and we were able to expedite arrangements for those who wanted to get home as quickly as possible.

I received numerous emails, messages and visits from staff assuring me of their support and their belief that we will get through this by standing together.  A number of staff and managers offered to take no salary or a larger wage reduction to enable us to better support those who needed it more.

To summarise, I asked all employees to stand together to ensure we can survive the next few months.  Their response has been amazing.  Most of the staff agreed immediately.  Given the added complexities around players’ contracts and the wide range of personal circumstances, a number of players are still reviewing their situations.  However, I believe we will reach a good outcome as I know they want to do what they can to support the Club.

Much has been made of an email, sent by our Head of Player Recruitment, to agents with regard to potential recruitment requirements once football resumes.  We must continue to plan for football returning and make sure we are in the strongest possible position possible when that happens.  I would however like to make it clear there is no pot of money sitting in the bank that could be going towards player or employee wages and there is certainly no intention of paying transfers fees under the current circumstances.

To summarise, we have consulted with a wide range of senior employees and managers and we have communicated fully to all staff in an open and transparent manner.  I did so quickly, not to create panic, but to give everyone time to plan and consider their own circumstances.  Cost-cutting is going to come and I see no point in sugar-coating this news.

 

What about Revenue Generation?

Clearly, opportunities to generate revenue are minimal.  We have kept our on-line store open to receive orders but, for reasons of social isolation, we are restricted in our ability to fill these orders.  Thank you to everyone who is supporting us in this manner.  We will, of course, fill all orders at the earliest opportunity.

We will be putting Season Tickets on sale as soon as we can.  Obviously, we are constrained in a number of ways, not least the uncertainty surrounding which Division we will be playing in, when this season will end and when next season will start.  We will, however, put maximum protection and maximum flexibility into any terms and conditions surrounding the purchase of season tickets or hospitality packages.  I want to thank all of those supporters who have indicated that they are keen to support us in this way.

I have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our sponsors and want to thank all who have been in touch and offered their backing at this time.

I also want to give special mention to the FOH Pledgers who are continuing to pledge, knowing how reliant the club is on this source of funding.  Once again, we can demonstrate that we have the best supporters in Scotland, given that pledger numbers and pledged amounts have increased since the scale of the difficulties facing the Club in the wake of the corona pandemic have become known.

Thank you all and please use our website and our social media channels as your source for accurate information.

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Robbo51

Good clear statement imo

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Mr 3 Putt

Brilliant from Budge. Hopefully shut pricks like Kris Boyd up now.

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i8hibsh

Good statement and for once a well needed statement from her.  

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Barack

Can't see the Sun being invited along to media gatherings anytime soon, whenever football returns.

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busby1985

Brilliant from Budge. 

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