MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 11:50:03| >> :120:79476:79476:

Coronavirus latest: St Mirren furlough entire playing squad

The Buddies join Ladbrokes Premiership rivals Hamilton and Ross County in placing players on furlough leave.

St Mirren have furloughed their entire playing squad and most other employees.

Players will receive 80 per cent of their monthly wages from the Government up to £2,500 and the club will provide the remainder.

Scottish clubs are due to hold talks with league officials on Wednesday to discuss the fate of this season but UEFA's desire to see competitions completed could mean a lengthy delay in the transfer of prize money.

In a statement, the Paisley club said: "The cancellation of football during this terrible crisis seems like a small thing when an increasing number of people are dying daily from coronavirus.

"But while this is undoubtedly true, our sport's ongoing absence is a massive financial challenge to all football clubs, and St Mirren are no exception.

"Your board has had to consider what action to take, and quickly, to protect our long-term future and very existence – and we had two immediate aims.

"Firstly, our responsibility as an employer to players, management, and staff. We don't want our people to have to worry about their income at a time of many other family concerns.

"Secondly protecting the club's ability to live within our means and keeping us debt-free, a position we are currently in due to the prudence and commitment of successive boards.

"The challenge is that nobody knows when football will resume and when St Mirren will again have an income from that source. As things stand we don't even know if this season will be completed or when next season will begin.

St Mirren players are now on furlough leave
St Mirren players are now on furlough leave (PA)

"Taking all of this into account, and to make sure none of our staff is left financially worse off, we have decided to make immediate use of the UK Government's job retention scheme.

"This will include all our playing and non-playing staff, with the exception of a core group who are required for the continued running of the club.

"The job retention scheme pays our staff who are furloughed 80 per cent of their gross salary up to a maximum of £2,500, but we are committed to ensuring we will make up any difference to their usual pay level. This applies to all members of staff."

St Mirren join Ladbrokes Premiership rivals Hamilton and Ross County in placing players on furlough leave, while Hibernian, Aberdeen and Rangers have agreed wage deferrals with their players.

Some Hearts players have agreed temporary wage cuts with others in talks with the club.

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Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

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· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
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· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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