Leicester Tigers Confirm 5 Big-Name Departures Including England Superstar
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Leicester Tigers have confirmed that England superstar centre Manu Tuilagi has left the club after failing to agree terms following a proposed pay cut.
Tuilagi and a number of key players were given until 5pm on Tuesday to reach an agreement with the club but the powerful centre was one of a number of players who couldn’t settle on terms.
The Tigers secured late deals for fellow England internationals Ellis Genge and George Ford but Chief executive Andrea Pinchen has confirmed that Tuilagi is one of five players to depart.
The other four players are England international Kyle Eastmond, Telusa Veainu, Greg Bateman and former Leinster and Ireland playmaker Noel Reid.
“Our fans deserve to know: Manu Tuilagi, Telusa Veainu, Greg Bateman, Noel Reid and Kyle Eastmond [are leaving],” Pinchen said.
“We had asked staff and players very early on, because there was no income coming in, to take a 25 per cent reduction in pay across the board.
“Everyone bought into that, the players agreed to that. Then as we find out more and more, go through the process, and look at what central funding reduction is going to happen.
“If we do play behind closed doors until January, we realised we needed to make some real big cuts, that are, let’s be honest, primarily wrapped up in players’ salaries.
“Players were asked, for season 2021 only, to take a reduction of 25 per cent, with an opportunity later down the line to claw back half of that amount, and to sign an agreement to say they wouldn’t reserve their rights. But they wouldn’t accept this.
“Some were offered new contracts that weren’t acceptable to them, others chose to not come on board with that.”
Pinchen also confirmed Leicester have made 31 staff redundant, having suffered losses of £5million already due to the fallout of the ongoing crisis.