‘Football has been very good to us’ - Naismith accepts 50% wage cut

Former Norwich City midfieder Steven Naismith has accepted a 50% pay cut at Hearts in the Scottish c

Former Norwich City midfieder Steven Naismith has accepted a 50% pay cut at Hearts in the Scottish club's response to coronavirus shutdown Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Steven Naismith has accepted a 50% pay cut at Hearts as the Scottish Premiership club strive to cope with the coronavirus shutdown.

The strugglers outlined a plan last week to stave off possible redundancies with professional football on hold due to the spread of the global pandemic.

Naismith completed a permanent move to Hearts at the start of the season, after his lucrative Canaries’ contract ran out following a bit part role at Carrow Road during a three year spell following his reported £8m move from Everton in January 2016.

Now in a statement carried on the Edinburgh Evening News, the Hearts’ captain has pledged to lead from the front.

“Like my team-mates, I’ve been thinking a lot about the request from Hearts to reduce our wages by 50% to help the club and protect as many jobs as possible during this uncertain period. I have discussed it at great length with my family.

“The current circumstances put everyone in a very difficult position, but this isn’t a problem of Hearts’ making.

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“My family and I feel that, through a long career, football has been very good to us. Therefore, I personally feel that I can and should accept the 50% reduction in wages. I hope this can contribute in some way to the long-term survival of the club at a challenging time and save jobs, especially those that are the lowest earners and hence those who will be struggling the most at this time.

“I know every one of my team-mates have unique circumstances with their finances, homes and families. I can assure everyone they are all doing what they can.

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“As captain of Hearts, I will fully support my team-mates, whatever decision each of them makes on this matter. I am making a commitment to stay at Hearts, regardless of which league the club is in, next season and look forward to continuing to lead as captain. I consider it an honour to represent Hearts. I hope this can give some certainty in uncertain times.”

Former City loan import, Ralf Fahrmann, is facing the same situation after recently moving to Norwegian club, SK Brann, in a bid for regular football.

Fahrmann cut short an intended season loan switch from parent club Schalke 04 earlier this month ahead of the proposed start of the new Norwegian season in April. That is on hold with the spread of the virus and according to German sports magazine, Revier Sport, Brann’s top brass have asked the management and squad to take a 20% cut.

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