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Scottish clubs should defer wages not cut them – PFA Scotland chief executive

PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart has urged any cash-strapped clubs to defer rather than cut wages as the reality of the coronavirus crisis starts to dawn.

With Scottish football halted due to the pandemic and with no firm date for its return, Hearts players and staff have been asked to take 50 per cent wage cut with captain Steven Naismith confirming he had agreed to the request.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack warned on Monday that the Dons “face £5million of outgoings with no expected income” with some tough decisions pending.

Wishart told Sky Sports News: “Scottish football is slightly different from the game in England, especially at the higher end in England, where it is awash with cash.

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“We don’t have the same level of finances, we don’t have the same television deals so clubs don’t have vast reserves that some of the English clubs would have and we completely understand that.

“Our advice, rather than talking about cuts, is deferral.

“Footballers’ contracts are protected because we have a transfer system where players can be sold like no other employee and in return the employers needs to honour the contracts.

“We don’t want to get involved in any legal wrangling and if anyone acts a bit hastily at a club and pushes a bottom to try to force cuts on players which they can’t do or terminate contracts we will end up in a legal wrangle.

“So we are saying to clubs and players, look at deferring a chunk of wages. What can the players afford?

Aberdeen v Celtic – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Pittodrie Stadium

Some tough decisions to be made at Aberdeen says chairman Dave Cormack

“Our players are not massively paid in general outside the top three or four clubs.

“They earn a decent wage full-time and then you drop into the Championship and it is low full-time wages and in the bottom leagues it is part-time wages so there has to be a fair deal for the players but also a deal that will help the clubs go forward.

“This can’t just be club versus player. There has to be give and take.

“We are saying to our members, ‘Get four or five senior players, speak to the club chairman and directors and make sure we have a fair deal for all and make sure we have 42 clubs at the end of the situation’.”