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Coronavirus in sport: ITF chief takes 30 per cent pay cut

David Haggerty

Bengaluru, April 10: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty has taken a voluntary 30 per cent pay cut while announcing a range of new measures to help its staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ITF has delayed or cancelled hundreds of its own tournaments, including on the second-tier men's Challenger Tour and Women's World Tennis Tour, with the inaugural Fed Cup Finals, scheduled for next week in Budapest, also postponed.

The federation said its new "job protection scheme includes a furlough for approximately half of ITF staff".

"The situation we're facing represents a fundamental challenge to our organisation and our sport," Haggerty, who was re-elected for another term last year, said in a statement.

"Our purpose is to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of our sport in collaboration with our 210 member nations, which is why we're making difficult decisions in the short term so that we can continue to deliver tennis for future generations across the globe," he added.

Other members of the ITF board will take a 20-percent salary reduction.

The London-based governing body said half its staff would be placed on the UK government's job retention scheme. Under the scheme, employers can claim for 80 per cent of furloughed employees' monthly wages.

The ITF will top up those payments to ensure all furloughed staff receive 80 per cent of their full salary.

With so many tournaments postponed, the earning potential of hundreds of players has effectively dried up - a serious issue for those lower down the rankings who struggle to make a living even in normal times.

The ITF did not say how it was hoping to help players financially, but that it was looking "into the various options to support nations and players during these times".

The ATP and WTA Tours have been suspended since early last month and are not scheduled to return until July 13 at the earliest following the cancellation of Wimbledon.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Friday, April 10, 2020, 11:57 [IST]
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