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Steven Naismith agrees to cut wages in half to save jobs at Hearts amid coronavirus shutdown

Heart of Midlothian v Motherwell - Ladbrokes Premiership

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 07: Hearts Steven Naismith during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Motherwell at Tynecastle Park on 07 March, 2020, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group via Getty Images)

SNS Group via Getty Images

Hearts captain Steven Naismith has agreed to cut his wages by 50 percent in order to keep the relegation-bound club afloat amid the coronavirus shutdown.

The 33-year-old attacking midfielder, who played for Everton and Norwich City, announced the decision after Hearts owner Ann Budge asked for all employees to cut their wages in half until play resumes. One of the highest earners on the team, Naismith joins manager Daniel Stendel, who has agreed to work for no pay, in taking serious initiative to better Hearts’ cash-flow crisis.

“Like my team-mates, I’ve been thinking a lot about the request from Hearts to reduce our wages by 50 per cent to help the club and protect as many jobs as possible during this uncertain period,” Naismith said. “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. 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 per cent 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,” he added.

After finishing sixth in the 2018-19 campaign, Hearts currently sit dead last in the table (23 points), four points behind second-worst Hamilton with three matches to go in the Scottish Premiership.

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