How Europe’s biggest football leagues are responding to coronavirus

Real Madrid and Barca players take wage cuts while Bundesliga elite set up a fund

Cristiano Ronaldo takes a free-kick during Juventus’ win over Inter Milan, which was played behind closed doors. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/Getty/AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo takes a free-kick during Juventus’ win over Inter Milan, which was played behind closed doors. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/Getty/AFP

 

With sports events around the world suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, football clubs and leagues have been discussing pay cuts with players to help them make it through the crisis.

Here is a summary of some of the agreements reached or negotiated by major football clubs.

England

- On April 4th Premier League called for a 30 per cent players’ wage reduction. The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) criticised the proposal, arguing it could reduce tax revenue for the National Health Service.

- Also on Aprill 4th, Premier League clubs agreed to support lower divisions with £125 million, to be used in early solidarity payments, parachute payments and Academy Grants.

Liverpool

On April 5th the Champions League winners said they would furlough some of their non-playing staff, but on April 6th reversed the decision after sharp criticism from fans and British government officials.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs have imposed a 20 per cent pay cut on 550 non-playing staff in April and May due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League club said on March 31st.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United have become the first Premier League club to place members of their non-playing staff on temporary leave in response to the coronavirus crisis, the BBC reported.

Italy

On April 6th Serie A officials proposed to cut players’ wages by a third if the season is cancelled and a sixth if it eventually resumes, with the chance for clubs to individually negotiate cuts with their employees. The Italian Players’ Association (AIC) called it “totally inadmissible”, a sentiment shared by the Italian coaches’ association (AIAC) .

Juventus

Players and coach Maurizio Sarri have reached an agreement over a wage reduction that will save the Italian champions €90 million, the Serie A club said on March 28th.

Inter Milan

Players and coaching staff are willing to cut their wages for the rest of the season, Italian news agency Ansa reported, citing sources in the club. The details will be decided once it is clear whether the current season will resume.

AS Roma

The team decided to put an initial 77 non-playing staff in furlough and plans to rotate the others 250 non-playing workers in the same scheme, Corriere dello Sport reported.

Spain

Barcelona players have taken a 70 per cent wage cut. Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty
Barcelona players have taken a 70 per cent wage cut. Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty

The Spanish Football Federation said on March 25th that it planned to open a €500 million line of credit to clubs which will not be able to claim their full television rights.

Real Madrid

Players and coaching staff voluntarily agreed on April 8th to cut between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of their wages to avoid “traumatic measures that affect the rest of the workers,” the club said.

Barcelona

Players will make an extra contribution on top of the 70 per cent pay cut they have agreed to take during the enforced La Liga break so that the club’s other employees can earn their full salaries during the coronavirus crisis, captain Lionel Messi said on March 30th.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid have also temporarily cut players’ and coaches’ wages by 70 per cent, but guaranteed a full salary for their other employees, the Spanish club said on April 2nd.

Germany

Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen have come together to create a €20 million solidarity fund to help German clubs in the top two tiers.

Bayern Munich

The German champions said players would cut their salaries by 20 per cent, ESPN reported .

Borussia Dortmund

The German club said on March 24th that players, managers and coaching staff agreed to cut their salaries to show solidarity with the club’s 850 employees and families. .

Borussia Monchengladbach

Sporting director Max Eberl said in an interview on the club’s website that the team has offered to renounce to their salaries if needed.

Union Berlin

Players agreed to give up their salaries, while managers and employees agreed on salary cuts.

FC Union Berlin playes have agreed to give up their salaries during the coronavirus crisis. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Getty/AFP
FC Union Berlin playes have agreed to give up their salaries during the coronavirus crisis. Photograph: Tobias Schwarz/Getty/AFP

France

Lyon

- The club has put all of its staff on partial unemployment status like all the clubs in French top-tier league Ligue 1.

- Under a government scheme, companies can request a reimbursement for putting workers on shorter or zero hours since the coronavirus outbreak.

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