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Breakers players agree to pay cuts of up to 50 per cent, owner confirms

The Breakers are the latest sporting organisation to feel the pinch of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with players agreeing to pay cuts ahead of the new NBL season.

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Matt Walsh told 1 NEWS about the Breakers' financial steps. Source: 1 NEWS

With a number of sporting organisations around the world forced into cost saving measures due to the halt to nearly all live matches, the Breakers have found themselves no different.

Dunedin's Venues Limited also today confirming they'll disestablish 16 roles, including those inside Forsyth Barr Arena, with no live sport to facilitate demand.

Club owner Matt Walsh today told 1 NEWS about the steps the Breakers are taking to avoid similar measures, with the playing roster all agreeing to take the hit in the pocket.

"It was something that the players kind of recognised early on," Walsh said of the need for pay cuts.

"If the league was to continue - which it will, we will have a season - but it's going to look different. If revenues are down, salaries have to come down some. Especially us.

"We're a community-based organisation, and we looked at it and had very honest conversations with our players.

"Everyone's hurting right now, we're not the only ones. There's a lot of people without jobs. I think our players are fortunate that they've got owners throughout the league and an owner of the league who're very protective of our players. They're our biggest assets.

"But the reality was that they'd have to come to the table and take the hit with us."

Facing cuts of up to 50 per cent of their salaries, Walsh commended his players for their steps, the cuts allowing the Breakers to save money that can be spent keeping other areas of their organisation alive.

The club owner is also confident that the Breakers' plans for the near future will allow them to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

"I'm happy that the players took this initiative.

"We're going to see a drop in revenue - that's just the reality - but it's not something you're going to see me here complaining about.

"There's people going through so much worse. We're going to get through this and we're going to do our best to do it together.

"We're already working on initiatives [for] when we do come back. Lowering ticket prices, making memberships more available. I think we have a great opportunity.

"We're going to be one of the first live sports back in action. We want to be an inspiration to New Zealand and give our fans the best chance to do that.

"People are going through it worse than us, so we're going to do our best to help the community."

Walsh, though, is optimistic that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that sport will survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is just going to be a hiccup overall, hopefully. There's a path getting back to normal business."

The 2020/21 NBL season isn't scheduled to begin until October this year, leaving plenty of time for teams to begin the process of recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.