Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has heaped praise on club captain Steven Naismith, after he decided to halve his wages as per the request from the club’s owner Ann Budge.

The 33-year-old has accepted the 50% wage cut in a bid to help the club sustain and protect jobs, citing football as having been good to him down the years.

Hearts, and many others, are facing an uncertain future with football currently suspended in Scotland due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stendel has backed his players in wage cut decision (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Clubs need to pay their staff but are unable to count on matchday revenues, and several clubs have already asked for supporters’ help and put measures in place to try and weather the storm.

At the moment, Naismith is the only player to have publicly cut his pay at Tynecastle, and Stendel – who himself is temporarily working for free – has praised the star.

He said (Daily Record): “Steven is a good example and it’s a good idea for some players. He is our captain and my experiences of him over the last couple of months have been very positive

“I’m not surprised about his decision and I hope some other players will do it also.”

Big earner Naismith publicly agreed to halve his wages (Photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

While Stendel would like to see stars follow suit, he accepts that won’t be possible for some and believes no one should be criticised for not accepting a financial hit.

“Every player needs to decide alone what is best for him,” he added. “Nobody can decide based on other people saying it’s good or not good. Everybody needs to decide for themselves.”

Budge anticipates the temporary wage cuts, which are to start from April, would last until August unless the season restarts sooner.

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