Yorkshire have today announced a business wide salary reduction of up to 20 per cent, with chief executive Mark Arthur praising staff for their understanding amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The decision affects staff and players across the club, the Yorkshire Cricket Board, the Foundation and Pro Coach.

A full 20 per cent reduction only applies to the highest earners, and the initiative takes effect on June 1 with no specific end date as yet.

“Any decision to ask any employee to take a salary deduction has to be done with sensitivity and almost as a last resort,” said Arthur.

“People up and down the country are really hurting with what’s happening - not only from a financial perspective, but from a social and emotional perspective. And when you make a decision like this, it has to be for real reasons.

“In our case, we are looking to save the medium and long-term future of Yorkshire CCC.

“Without looking at every cost line, as every business is currently doing, we would be negligent in our roles as directors and senior management.

“You do this sort of thing with great reluctance.

“We have communicated with each and every member of staff and player with what we wanted to do, which is ask them to take a salary sacrifice up to 20 percent.

“Those on the lower wage have a lower deduction, and those on a higher wage have the highest deduction, which is 20 percent.

“I haven’t spoken to everyone individually, but the senior managers have spoken to each of their direct reports. There’s been a unanimous consensus about supporting this initiative, as from June 1, and we are very grateful for their understanding.

“A lot of that is down to the fact we haven’t acted as quickly as some other sporting institutions to make salary reductions. They recognise in line with an awful lot of society that this is almost inevitable.

“What you have to remember is that we have got absolutely no income coming in whatsoever aside from a little bit through the online shop. But monies are still going out.

“We’ve reduced our overheads as best we can, with the final part of that being these salary deductions.

“But everything has been looked at with a great deal of scrutiny from many different pairs of eyes, and we are now at the place where we had to ask for salary sacrifice.

“Combined with the furlough scheme, it does mean we are not haemorrhaging day to day cash.”

Yorkshire have placed the vast majority of their staff, including players, on furlough leave, taking advantage of the government’s Job Retention Scheme.

That was extended until the end of October earlier this week, although there has been a change in terms which enables business to phase their staff back to work.

Arthur said: “This decision was made last week before we knew about the extension of furlough and the phasing back to work, which I actually applaud.

“I think the government have got that absolutely spot on in our case. But I accept it won’t work for everybody.”

Arthur was also keen to extend his thanks to England and Wales Cricket Board for their support throughout the ongoing worldwide crisis and spoke about the pure cricketing frustration the last few months has brought.

He added: “If you put the pandemic to one side for a moment, the great shame for the players, the club and our members is that we truly felt we’d assembled a very competitive squad.

“We knew that we were going to get use of some of our England players from time to time - more regularly than we’d had in the past. I think Joe Root was due to play four or five out of the first six Championship matches.

“So we were so optimistic about this season.

“You feel so sorry for yourselves in that regard, but then life overtakes sport. And you have to put everything into perspective.

“Then it’s a case of, ‘Right, we have to do everything right and baton down the hatches to make sure once this virus is no longer with us that we have a viable business’.

“Very quickly from a sense of feeling sorry for yourself given the timing of all of this, you then give yourself a real reality check and say, ‘This is nothing like we’ve ever seen before, and we have to act responsibly and take some tough decisions’.

“Those decisions have been helped by the government’s furlough scheme and tremendous collaboration and support we’ve had with and from the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“They have been absolutely tremendous in their support for the entire game.”