Hull stars face drastic drop cuts
Steve Bruce has revealed that Hull players will have their salaries slashed by up to 50 per cent if they are relegated.
The Tigers are fourth-bottom of the Premier League with one of the toughest run-ins facing them, and Hull manager Bruce said all players' contracts have been set up to protect the club financially in the event of relegation.
Hull have the third-lowest total wage bill in the Premier League, £43.3million in 2013/14 according to figures filed in Companies House, with only Leicester and Burnley paying less overall.
Bruce, speaking ahead of Hull's trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday, said: "We are a newly-promoted club who have been in the Premier League about 20 months so we always knew we were going to be up against it.
"Everybody concerned takes a huge reduction in salary. The club has had a really, really stringent policy so that if we do get relegated the club doesn't fall into drastic times which a lot of clubs do.
"Most players take a 40 and 50 per cent reduction in their salary which is key throughout it all. So we are all realistic to know that yes we want to avoid going into the Championship but we have made sensible provisions, our budget is pretty stringent, so that the club doesn't leak into the realms it was before and I think that is very important for a club like ours."
Bruce said battling to avoid such a huge drop in salary should act as a big incentive for his players.
He added: "Absolutely - I think they need reminding of that! For a club like ours it's the right provision.
"If you get relegated it's a major overhaul and you basically start over again on your journey, but you want to remain positive and make sure the club doesn't go through the horrendous times of four or five years ago before the current owners took over."
Hull have not won for two months, their last win being a 2-1 victory over QPR, and desperately need to end the run with matches against Liverpool and Arsenal to come.
Bruce's hopes of Mo Diame providing a welcome boost on return from a lengthy knee injury have yet to be realised however, and the Senegal midfielder again complained of pain in his knee in training this week.
"He has been out for five months and he is still not 100 per cent," said Bruce. "And we know that if you are not 100 per cent you cannot perform in this league.
"It's a crying shame as we have missed him."
Bruce hopes the fact Palace have little to play for will go in Hull's favour but is taking nothing for granted given the turnaround at the Eagles performed by Alan Pardew and before him Tony Pulis.
"A big pat of the back deserves to go to Alan and Tony," Bruce said. " Only 18 months ago everyone thought they were a goner."
Andy Robertson (ankle) and Curtis Davies (thigh) are still out for Hull while Alex Bruce's badly broken nose makes him a doubt.