Italian rugby bosses cut salaries, set up 1.6m euro fund to support clubs

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Italian rugby bosses on Friday agreed to voluntary cuts in salaries and payments for senior federation members while setting up a 1.65 million euros ($1.8 million) fund to help clubs in financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

All rugby in Italy has been cancelled this season as a result of the virus which has killed over 18,000 people in the country.

The FIR Council met on Friday using video conference and unanimously approved the 2020 budget, promising to support “home rugby” with a fund to be used from grassroots level up.

“The governing body of Italian rugby has unanimously approved the 2020 budget, while deliberating at the same time the setting up a fund to support the movement, for a minimum share of 1.650 million euros, the criteria and methods of access of which will be communicated as soon as possible,” FIR said in a statement.

The money will also be freed up from voluntary salary cuts by FIR management, with senior federation members agreeing to have their participation fees reduced.

“The approval of the 2020 budget represents the first formal step taken to allow the movement to cope with the complex historical moment we are going through,” said FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi.

FIR will also evaluate the use, where possible, of social safety nets provided for federal employees by the government during the Covid-19 emergency, adding they would “guarantee any wage differentials”, in addition to respecting the normal payment times.

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