HEARTS captain Steven Naismith tonight revealed he has accepted a 50 per cent pay cut and pledged to remain at Tynecastle.

The Edinburgh club's owner Ann Budge last week revealed the shutdown of Scottish football due to the coronavirus pandemic is set to cost them £1m.

Budge asked players and staff to take a 50 per cent pay cut - sparking condemnation in the football community.

However, German manager Daniel Stendel has told Budge he is prepared to work for nothing for the bottom-placed Ladbrokes Premiership club and now skipper Naismith has agreed to the cut.

The Scotland internationalist has also assured Hearts fans that he will remain in Gorgie even if they get relegated to the Championship.

“Like my team mates, I’ve been thinking a lot about the request from Hearts to reduce our wages by 50 per cent to help the club and protect as many jobs as possible during this uncertain period," said Naismith in a statement.

“The current circumstances put everyone in a very difficult position, but this isn’t a problem of Hearts’ making.

"I have discussed it at great length with my family. My family and I feel that, through a long career, football has been very good to us. Therefore, I personally feel that I can and should accept the 50 per cent reduction in wages.

"I hope this can contribute in some way to the long-term survival of the club at a challenging time and save jobs, especially those that are the lowest earners and hence those who will be struggling the most at this time.

“I know every one of my team-mates have unique circumstances with their finances, homes and families. I can assure everyone they are all doing what they can.

“As captain of Hearts, I will fully support my team-mates, whatever decision each of them makes on this matter."

Naismith added: "I am making a commitment to stay at Hearts, regardless of which league the club is in, next season and look forward to continuing to lead as captain. I consider it an honour to represent Hearts. I hope this can give some certainty in uncertain times.”