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Coronavirus latest: Hearts captain Steven Naismith agrees 50% pay cut

Coronavirus latest: Hearts captain Steven Naismith agrees 50% pay cut
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The 33-year-old has a contract until 2023.

Hearts captain Steven Naismith has pledged to accept a 50 per cent pay cut in order to save jobs and help the club survive during the coronavirus crisis.

Players have been asked to halve their wages by the struggling Edinburgh side following the suspension of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Scotland international Naismith is willing to meet the demand and plans to remain at Tynecastle next season "regardless of which league the club is in".

Relegation-threatened Hearts, managed by Daniel Stendel, currently sit at the foot of the division, four points adrift of second-bottom Hamilton.

"The current circumstances put everyone in a very difficult position, but this isn't a problem of Hearts' making," Naismith said in a statement.

"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.

Hearts, managed by Daniel Stendel, are bottom of the Scottish Premiership
Hearts, managed by Daniel Stendel, are bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership (Jane Barlow/PA)

"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."

Former Rangers, Everton and Norwich forward Naismith joined Hearts in January 2018, initially on loan. The 33-year-old's contract runs until 2023.

"As captain of Hearts, I will fully support my team-mates, whatever decision each of them makes on this matter," he continued.

"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."

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General view of Tynecastle Park, home to Hearts, from 2011
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CCeltic30262289197080
2RangersRangers29214464194567
3Motherwell30144124138346
4Aberdeen3012994036445
5Livingston30109114139239
6Hibernian30910114249-737
7St Johnstone2981292846-1836
8Kilmarnock3096153141-1033
9St Mirren3078152441-1729
10Ross County3078152960-3129
11Hamilton AcademicalHamilton3069153050-2027
RHearts30411153152-2123

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