England centre among five players who left the Premiership club after refusing 25 percent pay cut for 2020-21 season
Last Updated: 04/07/20 9:07pm
Leicester Tigers chairman Peter Tom has described Manu Tuilagi’s departure as “extremely sad” but says wage cuts were necessary to ensure the club’s survival.
Tuilagi was among five players to leave the club after refusing to accept a 25 percent pay cut for next season.
Sale Sharks are reported to have made contact with the England centre, who has spent his entire professional career at Welford Road.
“To see Manu moving on is extremely sad for the club,” Tom told Leicester Tigers TV. “Obviously, we wish him all the best.”
Telusa Veainu, Greg Bateman, Noel Reid and Kyle Eastmond have also left Leicester, with all five understood to truly have the ability to sue the Tigers for constructive dismissal. Forward Jordan Taufua is also expected to depart.
The players can effectively leave as free agents as a result of breach of contract.
“I’m disappointed to a degree,” said Tom. “We’d have much preferred to possess these conversations in private.
This is all about just how to ensure the survival of Leicester Tigers. That’s foremost in all our minds.
“I fully respect everyone arriving at their own conclusion. At the finish of your day they have to arrive at their conclusion about what’s best because of their families and things like that.
“The point is five guys have decided they are going to move ahead.
“The positive side of that is that a high level percentage of the squad had no dilemmas and comprehended the situation and we’re willing to accept it and simply take the Tigers forward. Like I say, I’d prefer it hadn’t happened in the media.
“The fact was these tough decisions must be made.
“You browse the media and occasionally I read social networking. The most of our supporters understand what a really difficult situation this is.
“I even had some supportive messages today. I also had several giving me a good kicking as well.
“This is all about just how to ensure the survival of Leicester Tigers. That’s foremost in all our minds.
“We would like to share everything with everybody but ultimately we can’t.”