Coronavirus lockdown: Barcelona may cut player wages by upto 70%

The cut is likely to affect both the men’s and women’s football teams, the B team, the Under-19 team along with the support staff.

Jordi Alba (left) and Lionel Messi during the La Liga encounter against Real Madrid in early March.   -  AP

 

Due to the coronavirus lockdown in Spain, renowned football club Barcelona is considering a pay cut of up to 70 per cent for all the footballers. The players have accepted the move but a final agreement is pending.

The cut is likely to affect both the men’s and women’s football teams, the B team, the Under-19 team along with the support staff, according to a report in The Guardian.

The report further added that the Championship clubs had a conference call with the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) last week to discuss the potential strategies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The highlight of the discussion was to lessen the strain of player wages on finances as there is little to no income.

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In Spain, companies can lay off staff or reduce wages temporarily in exceptional cases under the labour legislation.

On the other hand, the TV company owning La Liga rights said it will apply temporary measures to more than 1,000 staff. Besides the monthly salary, the Spanish players also earn two large annual payments six months apart known as the ficha. There is still no clarity whether the reduction will apply to both the payments.

The reduction will last till the lockdown. Once the situation is normal, the players will return to their original salaries even if the tournament remains unfinished.

Spain’s lockdown is likely to continue till April 11.

The situation in England

The English Football League is working with the PFA to understand the financial situation.

Leeds held discussions with its players about late payments. If such a measure is enforced, the wages of the manager, Marcelo Bielsa, and his backroom staff would also be deferred.  They have five remaining home fixtures with approximately £700,000 as match day revenue.

The clubs that operate with higher wage bills than others will not be affected by the short-term financial stress.

Birmingham has requested its players, who earn more than £6,000 a week, to take a temporary 50 per cent wage cut. Many other second-tier clubs may follow suit.

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