Coronavirus crisis: Real Madrid players, coaches agree to reduce salaries – football



General view inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Sergio Perez
General view inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Sergio Perez(REUTERS)



Real Madrid’s playing and coaching staff have voluntarily agreed to take a wage cut of between 10 and 20 percent this year to help the club deal with the stoppage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the La Liga side said in a statement on Wednesday. The club said the exact amount would “depend on the circumstances that may affect the closing of the current 2019/20 sports season.” Club directors have also agreed to a wage cut as have members of its basketball team, it said.

The club said the move followed negotiations between the team captains — Sergio Ramos for the senior soccer side — and club directors. It said the decision would save having to cut the wages of other employees. Spain has been badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak with a death toll of 14,555. La Liga, as with most football around the world, is currently suspended and it is not known when, or even if, the season will re-start.

“This decision, taken by players, coaches and employees, avoids traumatic measures that affect the rest of the workers,” said the statement. It said it would also help deal with “the reduction in income that the club is suffering these months as a result of the suspension of competitions and the paralysis of a large part of its commercial activities.”

The players at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have also taken pay cuts and La Liga has asked other clubs to follow suit. The Spanish sports daily Marca said that a 10 percent cut would save the club around 50 million euros.

Wales rugby players agree to 25% pay cut

Wales’ top rugby players will take a 25% pay cut after the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with the Welsh Rugby Players’ Association (WRPA) to reduce salaries during the coronavirus crisis.

The PRB, which represents the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and the four professional regional teams — Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets — said the cut will not apply to players who earn less than 25,000 pounds ($30,967) a year.

The salary reduction will be effective from April 1 and will run for three months as the sport grapples with the financial impact of the pandemic, which forced the WRU to cancel the season in the country.

“For our professional players in particular, this has been a really tough decision,” Amanda Blanc, the independent chair of the PRB, said in a statement. “They are at the very sharp end of our business, but they are also our biggest cost.

“But they are in the midst of short careers, many in the prime of those careers and we are asking them to make a financial sacrifice that they won’t have planned for.

“We explored a range of options, including deferment of pay, but have agreed on a reduction once all the relevant information and scenarios were considered.”

The WRU said last week that chief executive Martyn Phillips and Wales head coach Wayne Pivac would both take a 25% pay cut while other staff members would take pay cuts of either 25% or 10% as part of the cost-cutting measures.

WRPA CEO Barry Cawte applauded the players for taking such a measure during “extraordinary times” and confirmed its staff would also be taking a similar pay cut.

“The players are well aware that sacrifices are being made across the country and are keen to do their bit so that rugby will be ready to go when this crisis passes,” Cawte said.

“I can only say how proud I am of our members who from the beginning expressed a desire to do whatever was needed to help protect the game and their colleagues.”

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