Atletico join Espanyol in requesting player, staff paycuts

Diego Simeone (Getty Images)
Diego Simeone (Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid became on Friday the latest La Liga club to request labour authorities to allow them to cut player and staff salaries while football is suspended in Spain due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, club CEO Miguel Angel Gil said that they were "obliged" to propose a partial unemployment plan "for the employees who, due to the state of emergency in our country, can no longer carry their work".

Atleti are among a raft of clubs set to take a huge financial hit due to the indefinite suspension of football in Spain, one of the countries worst hit by COVID-19.

Gil did not outline by how much salaries would be cut, but confirmed that the measure concerned both players and staff.

Earlier on Friday La Liga's bottom club Espanyol asked labour authorities in Catalonia to allow them to cut player and staff salaries by 70 percent.

Espanyol said that the proposed reduction regards players and coaching staff from the men's and women's first teams, Espanyol B and youth teams, and was made "unilaterally for reasons of urgency".

City rivals Barcelona said on Thursday that they were cutting salaries -- although they did not specify who would be affected -- in order to stave off financial issues, with football in Spain suspended until further notice as the country joins Italy at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic

In Germany, players at Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have accepted pay cuts.

The clubs' move to cut salaries has left the players' union Fifpro concerned.

"We are extremely concerned that a significant number of clubs, in more than half a dozen countries, have begun to immediately lay off players or unilaterally reduce their salaries," Fifpro said in a statement.

The union called on clubs experiencing financial hardship to meet their national leagues to find a fair and proportionate solution.

"At a time of such a significant social crisis, solutions must be found with everybody's contribution," Fifpro added.

"Most football players outside the world's biggest leagues are earning at the same level or below average domestic income and would be severely affected by salary decreases."

On Friday, the Spanish government announced that over 4,800 people have died in the country as a result of the coronavirus after 769 people died in the previous 24 hours, a record one-day figure for fatalities in Spain.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 10025 votes
Cricket
11% - 2692 votes
Football
19% - 4540 votes
Athletics
2% - 593 votes
Boxing
1% - 224 votes
Cycling
2% - 553 votes
Golf
5% - 1181 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1995 votes
Tennis
3% - 807 votes
Water sports
1% - 213 votes
American sports
1% - 297 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 768 votes
Vote