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Eddie Jones to be asked to take pay cut with RFU set for £50m losses | Sport

Eddie Jones will be asked to take a pay cut after the Rugby Football Union revealed it is set to lose up to £50m owing to the disruption caused by coronavirus. The RFU chief executive, Bill Sweeney, has already agreed to a wage reduction of more than 25%, with Twickenham expecting massive losses over the next 18 months.

Jones earns around £750,000 a year, making him the second highest paid coach in the international game, but the RFU will discuss reductions with him and the rest of England’s coaching staff as cost-cutting measures.

The union was already anticipating making a loss this year – having returned a £15m profit in its most recent annual report – but with Twickenham closed for the foreseeable future RFU officials including Sweeney, who earns in the region of £600,000 plus bonuses, have already agreed to a pay cut “in excess of 25%”.

The cuts may have an impact on any negotiations between Sweeney and Jones over a contract extension until the 2023 World Cup. Jones’s contract runs until next summer but after England’s last outing, their Six Nations victory over Wales, he revealed he was due to discuss his future with Sweeney.

The RFU insists it has plans in place to mitigate the forecast losses that could end up being greater if England’s autumn international matches do not go ahead. England matches at Twickenham generate 85% of the RFU’s revenue, with each match potentially bringing in more than £10m.

The June fixture against the Barbarians is already in serious doubt while Twickenham is due to host two concerts by the South Korean boy band BTS over the summer that may also have to be cancelled, again hitting RFU revenues.

“The RFU’s biggest asset is also a major cost and the closure of Twickenham has a significant impact on the revenues we can generate to reinvest into the game,” Sweeney said. “In that sense we are like every other club in the union. When we do not stage matches and events we do not generate revenue.”

The RFU has announced measures to support grassroots clubs whose seasons have been cancelled. The union has put together a £7m rescue package, £5m of which will be loans with the rest coming from an amount already ringfenced for clubs in National League One – England’s third tier – and below.

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