The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) has promised to work with teams and world governing body the UCI to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on the sport but has ruled out accepting universal salary cuts.

A number of teams including Bahrain-McLaren, Mitchelton-Scott, CCC, Astana and Lotto-Soudal have already agreed cuts or payment deferrals with riders, while the AIGCP, a body which represents the teams, is seeking further measures.

But the CPA said the circumstances of each team was different and it would not accept a one-size-fits-all response across the sport.

CPA general secretary Laura Mora said: “We’ll never accept a generalised reduction in salaries; we’ll evaluate each case individually and study how to limit the problems with specific help and strategies.

“We’re all in the same boat, in the middle of a storm and so to save everyone, we’ve got to respect the common principles and really work as a team.”

The CPA’s statement comes one day after the UCI revealed that senior management are to reduce their salaries, and there is to be full or partial furlough for 130 employees.

Road cycling is economically vulnerable due to its heavy reliance on sponsorship, which can account for 80-95 per cent of a team’s budget.

Racing has been on hiatus since Paris-Nice ended one day early on March 14, with no clear sense of when it might return.

Tour de France 2019 – Stage 21 – Rambouillet to Paris Champs Elysees
The fate of the Tour de France is vital for many road teams (Pete Goding/PA)

The Tour de France, a race seen as vital to the budgets of several teams, remains on the schedule for now, due to start on June 27, but organisers are exploring options to delay it until later in the summer.

On Friday, Team Ineos announced they were helping their parent company Ineos distribute free hand sanitiser to NHS hospitals after the chemical company converted some of its plants to produce it.

The debate over salaries in cycling mirrors that taking place in several other sports.

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Parker threatened to reopen the debate over whether it was fair for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to have singled out footballers and called for them to take pay cuts in a column for Eurosport.

“People live the life depending on what they are earning,” Parker wrote. “Taking away 30 per cent of that money will still affect them. You are used to living with plenty of money.”

On Thursday, Southampton became the first Premier League team to announce an agreement with their players over wage deferrals during the crisis.

Southampton’s players, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and his coaching staff have agreed to defer part of their salaries for the months of April, May and June “to help protect the future of the club, the staff that work within it and the community we serve”.

Leeds have said that World Cup-winning former England defender Norman Hunter, 76, is in hospital with the coronavirus.

A statement from Leeds read: “We can confirm that Leeds United and England legend Norman Hunter is being treated in hospital after testing positive for COVID-19.

Norman Hunter File photo
Former Leeds and England defender is in hospital with the coronavirus (PA)

“We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public and the media to respect the wishes of Norman and his family and to give them the space they need during this difficult time.”

Meanwhile, the English Football League has outlined a plan to play the rest of the season in 56 days once it is safe to resume, believing the Championship, League One and League Two can be completed over the summer.

SPFL clubs are due to vote on Friday on proposals from the league to end the Scottish Championship, League One and League Two seasons, with final placings to be determined by points per game in league matches played to date by each club.

The resolution also recommends that the Ladbrokes Premiership remains postponed for the time being, although final season placings would be determined by the same system if the SPFL’s board determines matches cannot be played.

Rangers say a members’ resolution put forward by the club calling for prize money to be urgently distributed had been ruled not competent by the SPFL’s legal adviser, but the club intended to submit and amended version.

Rangers claimed their requests for assistance from the league in framing the resolution had gone unanswered, but the SPFL responded with a statement saying it had not received the request until late on Thursday night.