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London Irish are the latest English club to be forced into making cuts to staff salaries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gallagher Premiership is suspended during the crisis, while all levels below the top tier have seen their seasons ended prematurely.

This has resulted in a number of clubs having to trim their wage bill accordingly, and London Irish are merely the latest.

A statement says they've made the step to protect a club with 122 years of history, adding, "No-one knows for certain when we will return to normality and having taken all factors into account, the club has taken the difficult decision to reduce salaries of staff, players and coaches by 25%.

"These salary reductions will come into effect from 1 April."

London Irish is currently home to former Ireland back-row Sean O'Brien, his former Leinster team-mate Conor Gilsenan, Paddy Jackson and former Ireland head coach Declan Kidney who is their director of rugby.

Harlequins, Worcester Warriors, Saracens and Bristol are among the other clubs who have announced salary cuts.

The Exiles say there will be a threshold put in place to ensure the club's lesser earners are protected.

Despite the lingering uncertainty, London Irish say plans remain in place to move to the soon-to-be-completed Brentford Community Stadium for the start of the 2020/21 campaign - whenever that may be.

The statement from CEO Brian Facer reads:

Over the last few weeks, the country has experienced extraordinary circumstances as we stand in the midst of a global health crisis.

We would like to thank London Irish supporters and our partners for their support during this difficult time. We hope you appreciate the necessity for fixtures to be postponed in line with government measures, but this is new territory for all of us, so your patience and backing is invaluable. 

I would like to recognise the exceptional work of our staff and players to help and support the most vulnerable in our community. This has been led by our fantastic Community and Foundation teams who have been working with partners, businesses and charities to get hampers and supplies to NHS staff, schools and those most at risk in our society across Middlesex, Hampshire and Berkshire. 

It is in times of adversity that we need to look out for each other, and this is something this club has always valued. Now, however, there is a need to look after the club that has been in existence for 122 years. 

Covid-19 is having an impact on all businesses across multiple industries, including rugby, as we have heard over the last few days from our counterparts in the Gallagher Premiership. 

No-one knows for certain when we will return to normality and having taken all factors into account, the club has taken the difficult decision to reduce salaries of staff, players and coaches by 25%.

These salary reductions will come into effect from 1 April 2020, although a threshold has been placed to ensure employees earning below a certain amount are unaffected.

We have deliberated long and hard about this and our first thoughts was always on the well-being and mental and physical health of all our staff.

I would like to commend them for their understanding in putting the club before themselves, they are all a credit to our organisation.

We are implementing a buddy system throughout the club so that nobody faces a day alone. I would urge our supporters to do the same and make sure that they look after all members of the community.

I would like to thank our board of directors for their support during this time, especially our President and Owner Mick Crossan.

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Brentford Community Stadium Coronavirus Covid-19 Declan Kidney Gallagher Premiership Les Kiss London Irish Paddy Jackson Premiership Rugby Sean O'brien

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