Atletico cut players' wages to safeguard employees' pay

Reuters , Thursday 2 Apr 2020

Atletico Madrid
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group D - Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - December 11, 2019 Reuters

Atletico Madrid have temporarily cut players' and coaches' wages by 70% in order to cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but guaranteed a full salary for their other employees, the Spanish club said on Thursday.

The move follows that of La Liga rivals Barcelona, whose players agreed to an extra pay cut in addition to a club-imposed 70% reduction while football is on hold, in order to ensure non-playing staff earned their full salaries.

Those decisions contrast with several Premier League clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Newcastle United, who have faced criticism for cutting the wages of staff during the pause in matches, while making no reduction to players' often multi-million-pound salaries..

Bundesliga clubs including Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Schalke 04 and Hoffenheim have also imposed pay cuts on players in order to adjust to their fall in income while there are no matches.

Italian champions Juventus last week announced a compensation reduction for the remaining part of the season equal to four months’ pay.

Atletico's statement said it had requested the temporary pay cut, referred to in Spain as an ERTE, in order to "safeguard the economic viability of the club" and guarantee its future.

The 70% reduction will affect the first team as well as the women's side and reserve outfit.

The statement added that the first team squad had agreed to supplement one half of the 430 employees affected by the ERTE, with directors and the CEO paying for the other half.

Spain is the second worst-affected country behind Italy in Europe by the virus and on Thursday the death toll rose above 10,000 after a record 950 people died overnight.

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