Welsh rugby is in huge turmoil at the moment. Not only is the national team going through some major struggles, but the very future of the professional game in the nation is also up in the air due to ongoing issues around finances.
The four Welsh regional teams are set to be exposed to sizeable financial cuts after this season, leaving the futures of a number of players in doubt.
A number of members of the Wales squad have been affected by the measures, being told that they cannot be offered new deals prior to the end of the current campaign. That has led to plenty of friction between the group and the Welsh Rugby Union, with strike action even threatened in the buildup to their game against England last weekend.
It remains to see how things will play out in the weeks ahead, although the wages reportedly on offer at Cardiff have pointed to the scale of the cuts that are coming.
Welsh players offered huge pay cuts by Cardiff
Discussions apparently took place between Cardiff and some of their players last week, with those involved unlikely to be pleased with what was on offer.
Wales Online are reporting that Cardiff told a group of 12 players, some of whom are currently earning up to £250,000 per year, that the maximum salary they could be offered next season was £30,000.
That would be a decrease of around 88% for those earning at the top of the current wage bracket. A number of Wales internationals are included in that group, with many players told by the team they would not insult them by even officially offering them that amount.
Cardiff told the players involved that their hands were tied on the matter due to financial cuts being imposed upon the team.
Their budget is being slashed by around £2.6million for next season, with further reductions to come the following year. It is reported that they only have around £400,000 left to spend on salaries due to monies already committed, which will have to be split on 12-14 players. That leaves an average salary of around £30,000 to fill out the squad.
Of course, this mark is well below what will be on offer elsewhere.
The likes of Josh Adams, Taulupe Faletau, and Liam Williams are currently on the books at Cardiff and could well be released from their contracts for a transfer fee in order to free up some money to round out the squad.
In all, the situation seems to be a very difficult one for the teams and players involved.
Hopefully a sensible solution will be found in the near future.