La Liga Urges More Clubs to Cut Players’ Pay During State of Emergency

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Spanish football top-flight has recommended that all its clubs join FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in introducing pay cuts to staff, including players.

It said this would help in coping with a loss of income during the country’s state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus.

Spain is in its third week of lockdown and many companies have filed temporary pay cuts, referred to as an ERTE, to cope with the deepening economic crisis.

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The crisis has been caused by the spread of the virus, which has infected 117,710 people and killed 10,935.

“We are urging clubs to initiate ERTEs due to the special measures the government has taken to avoid and alleviate the negative impact COVID-19 is having on our sector so (that) we are able to guarantee that the sector recovers when the crisis is over,” a statement from La Liga indicated on Friday.

It added that professional football represented 1.37 per cent of Spain’s GDP and was responsible for around 185,000 jobs.

Champions and current leaders FC Barcelona became the first Spanish top-flight club to give details of a pay cut when it announced a 70 per cent reduction in player wages on Monday.

The first team squad is taking an additional pay cut to ensure non-playing staff continued to earn their full salaries.

Atletico Madrid then announced a 70 per cent pay cut for players in their first team, reserve side and women’s team.

The club added that the first-team squad and directors had made a donation to ensure that other members of staff still earned their full paychecks.

Major clubs in Germany and Italy have also announced pay cuts to playing staff.

England’s Premier League has already attracted criticism from the government for not cutting players’ wages while some have reduced the salaries of other staff members.

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