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Hearts captain Steven Naismith takes 50% pay cut to help the club survive during coronavirus crisis


Steven Naismith hopes his decision can save Hearts (Picture: Getty)

Hearts captain Steven Naismith has confirmed he has taken a 50% pay cut in order to save jobs at the club due to coronavirus outbreak.

The Ladbrokes Premiership was suspended earlier this month, leaving relegation-threatened Hearts rooted to the bottom of the table.

Relegation would be devastating for the Edinburgh club at the best of times but the coronavirus crisis has plunged the Scottish outfit into further uncertainty as it’s unclear if and when the league season will continue.

The club told all first-team players that there would be cutbacks if players didn’t reduce their wages and Naismith says he will half his salary in order to help the club through this difficult time, while he’s also confirmed he will stay at the club no matter whether they stay up or not.

‘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,’ said Naismith.

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

‘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.

‘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.’

Naismith moved south of the border to join Everton from Rangers in 2012 and he was a fond member of the community during his four years on Merseyside.

The Scotland international works alongside charities to support homeless people and once paid for hundreds of meals to be served on Christmas Day at shelters across Glasgow and Liverpool.

Naismith would also regularly donate his matchday tickets at Everton to give to unemployed members of society, while he’s also an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.

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