La Liga players have been told it should be “normal” for them to have their salaries reduced because everyone else is being impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
With elite European football at a standstill due to Covid-19, much debate has surrounded the topic of player wages and whether or not their salaries should be reduced while no fixtures are taking place, in order to save the clubs money and protect the livelihoods of less wealthy non-playing staff.
Serie A clubs have voted unanimously to implement cuts of up to a third of players’ yearly wages, while some teams from other countries around Europe are making their own decisions on the matter, with Atletico Madrid confirming players had accepted a 70 per cent reduction.
Atletico’s stance is by no means a standard in La Liga, but league president Javier Tebas thinks some form of sacrifice should be made across the board and believes that will be achieved in the coming days.
“We are in a moment of exceptional, unpredictable, and enormous-impact crisis,” he said in a teleconference with foreign media on Tuesday. “Everyone loses money, it seems normal to me that players’ salaries are also reduced. In Spain we did not find an agreement with the union, our negotiations ran aground yesterday [Monday].
“At the moment, eight La Liga clubs [across the first and second divisions] have requested ERTE [Temporary Employment Regulation File], but in the next few days all our teams will activate salary reduction protocols, either through ERTE or with individual agreements with their players.
“Spanish football does not intend to resort to state aid, we must be economically independent.”
Tebas also confirmed La Liga’s desire to resume the season – if possible – on the final weekend of May, meaning the campaign would likely extend beyond June 30.
While that would be problematic in terms of the next transfer window and the expirations of some contracts or loans at the end of June, Tebas is confident modifications will be possible.
“It will be necessary to alter the contracts of the players that expire on June 30, as well as the various loan agreements,” he said. “It is not simple, but not so complicated. I think that the players will agree and that the different leagues will find a solution that complies with general regulations.
“It is clear that the current transfer window dates, from July 1 to September 1, will not be suitable and should be changed, but I can’t say much more.
“We will have to see the recommendations of FIFA and adjust the market to the current conditions generated by the coronavirus, which are decidedly exceptional.”