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Dundee United midfielder Calum Butcher praises squad for taking pay cuts and believes they deserve more credit for keeping top-six hopes alive until late in the season

Dundee United midfielder Calum Butcher.
Dundee United midfielder Calum Butcher.

Dundee United midfielder Calum Butcher believes the willingness of players to take pay cuts shows the togetherness among the Terrors’ squad.

United’s players agreed to salary reductions of up to 20% in January amid the continued financial struggle facing Scottish football during the coronavirus pandemic.

When the Tannadice hierarchy first put the proposal on the table back in October of last year, Butcher – who recently made his 100th appearance in tangerine – says there was no hesitation to reach an agreement despite drawn out negotiations.

“They came to us and, straight away, we wanted to help”

“The club came to us late last year and there was a discussion that something needed to happen,” the 29-year-old said speaking to DUTV.

“Obviously, with no fans and no gate receipts it was difficult for the club to function.

“They came to us and, straight away, we wanted to help. Everyone in the room was willing to help.

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“There’s definitely been club I’ve been at before where players would’ve walked out of that meeting.

“From being in that room, you knew the boys wanted to help that situation and do what was right for the club.

“Negotiations went on for a month or so and we managed to come to an agreement.

“Taking a cut and not a deferral is a big thing to do. It’s something we’re all happy we could do to help the club in the long term.”

Terrors “don’t get the credit” for league placing

The Tangerines head to Rugby Park on Saturday to take on Kilmarnock as Micky Mellon’s men continued to hunt down a top-six spot.

With three games to go until the split, and Celtic and Aberdeen still to come to Tannadice, it looks to be a crucial game if United are to pip St Mirren, currently in pole position, to the post.

Currently sitting seventh in the Premiership standings, Englishman Butcher believes they don’t get enough credit for the season they’ve had so far following promotion from the Championship last season.

He added: “In the Championship we were building a team to go up and do well.

“It was never going to be about a total overhaul of players. It was going to stay the same and maybe add a few.

Calum Butcher in action against Rangers wide man Ryan Kent at Ibrox last weekend.

“We’ve done that this year and the majority of the squad was in the Championship last year.

“Coming in at the start of the season the aim was to finish in the top six. That was spoken about a lot.

“We’re a few games away from being close to that and in our first season back – that’s brilliant.

“That’s a massive bonus for us to be in that position and I don’t think we get credit for that enough, personally.

“From outside the club, I don’t think people look at Dundee United and think: ‘That’s a good season’.

“I don’t know if it’s the size of the club or the expectations but to come from the Championship and, potentially, be able to finish sixth is a great achievement for us.

“I’m trying to take the positives from that. If anyone else is in that situation, everyone is talking about them.”

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