Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are reportedly looking to slash the salaries of their first-team players by 30 percent. This report comes at a time when clubs across Europe are struggling to deal with the financial crisis that has ensued due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
According to Spanish news publication Diario AS, the two Spanish heavyweights have mulled the pay cut ahead of the 2020-21 season. The Catalans are looking to save approximately €230 million ($250 million) if the Barcelona pay cut plan materialises. The defending LaLiga champions boast of the biggest wage bill in the league, amounting to a reported €667 million ($723 million). Barcelona players already agreed to a 60 percent pay cut last month after a request from the club hierarchy. This pay cut has also facilitated the complete payment of the salaries of the non-playing staff at the club, while also allowing the club to avoid placing its staff on furlough.
Earlier it was reported that Real Madrid will not force a pay cut on its players considering the healthy financial state of the club. However, considering the extension of the lockdown in Spain reports now suggest that the first-team squad has agreed to a Real Madrid pay cut policy, which could hover in the range of 10 to 20 percent. This amount will be determined considering the progress of the currently suspended season and the likely impact on Real Madrid's balance sheet.
Amid the Real Madrid pay cut talks, there here have been efforts to ensure an early LaLiga return. Teams have returned to training after ensuring that the players test negative for the coronavirus pandemic. Reports suggest that the authorities are looking to ensure the competition resumes by mid-June. However, the games will be played behind closed doors.