Wolfsburg to fine late players 10,000 euros

AFP , Saturday 12 Mar 2011

Bundesliga strugglers Wolfsburg have set a flat-rate fine of 10,000 euros (13,899 US dollars) to punish any tardiness in their squad as the 2009 champions battle to stay in Germany's top-flight


With their team just a point from the relegation zone, any Wolfsburg player who is more than a second late for training, team meals or meetings will be hit with the five-figure sum.

Other indiscretions, such as mobile phones beeping during team meetings, are also to be heavily punished with no exceptions.

The Wolfsburg squad are paid on average 50 euros per minute and the steep fine has been imposed by head coach Pierre Littbarski and general manager Dieter Hoeness to make sure players concentrate during the survival battle.

"Our players want to be put under pressure," Littbarski, who took over after ex-England boss Steve McClaren was sacked last month, told German daily Bild.

"The coaching staff changed the fine system with Dieter Hoeness and have made them far more drastic.

"If a player turns up late, he has a big problem, it can get very steep."

There is no clemency for repeat offenders: further misdemeanors, such as a mobile phone ringing during a team meeting, result in the same five-figure fine being docked from the player's wages.

Brazilian striker Grafite had a lucky escape when the fines were first announced last week.

Grafite was three minutes late to the meeting to announce the five-figure fines, but luckily for him, the new system only came into effect once the players had been informed -- saving the 31-year-old a cool 10,000 euros.

Wolfburg, 15th of the 18 teams in the Bundesliga, play mid-table Nuremberg on Saturday in the German league.

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