Wage cut talks go on as Cardiff Blues squad remains unconfirmed

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The Cardiff Blues playing squad and senior management remain locked in talks over wage cuts with the season just 10 days away from restarting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic an initial three month wage reduction of 25% was agreed through to the end of June, but talks about extending that over a longer term stalled when the Welsh Rugby Players Association, Welsh Rugby Union and Professional Rugby Board were unable to reach an agreement.

That has called into question the future of the WRPA and the PRB, and resulted in each Welsh professional club having to hold talks with their own players over wage cuts, with reports suggesting that those wage cuts are tied directly to the loan that the WRU are trying to secure.

Cardiff Blues senior management are holding daily talks with the players but progress has been slow with a mechanism trying to be worked out that will see players recoup lost earnings when the business is able to trade as normal again.

At the same time there have not been any announcements regarding the contracts of a number of players who’s deals were expiring this summer, with supporters still not completely aware of what the Cardiff Blues squad currently looks like.

Richard Holland revealed at a Q&A earlier in the season that 16 players had signed new contracts so far, with only 11 announced at a last count, while in a meeting with the CF10 Arms Park Rugby Trust it was suggested that four players would be departing the Arms Park this summer.

Macauley Cook and James Down have both moved on to pastures new, while Nick Williams has retired, which still leaves one player heading out of the door if all three of those were counted in the original four. Ryan Edwards could well have been included, or Filo Paulo’s short-term contract may not have been extended, it is not clear.

With the Scarlets having organised their wage cuts and announced 17 new contract renewals, hopefully Cardiff Blues will be in a position to do something similar soon.

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