How are European Clubs dealing with COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic, which has spread all over the world after originating in Wuhan in China, affecting football operations across the globe?
Football Suspended And Postponed
In the heartland of football, United Kingdom, the Premier League has been suspended indefinitely whereas, in Germany, the league is expected to be played behind the closed doors.
On the other hand, the European elite football body, UEFA is planning to complete all the remaining games of Champions League and Europa League by the end of July/August. Also, they have notified that the international games which are to be held in the month of June 2020 are postponed until further notice.
Cuts In Exorbitant Wages
Few clubs pay exorbitant wages to their star players and on the other hand, few clubs pay an exorbitant fee to their manages. Example for the above-mentioned situation is Atletico Madrid pay 42 million euros for their gaffer, Diego Simeone. But, during the time of crisis, the players and the management have come forward to help the non-playing staff.
Among the elite European clubs, the Camp Nou based outfit were the first ones to take a significant pay cut. In a press conference, Lionel Messi said that the players are going to take a pay cut of 70% in order to ensure that the other non-playing staff get their full salaries. Apart from the football players of Barcelona, other athletes also agreed to take a significant pay cut in order to ensure that no other employee goes empty-handed.
In the press conference, the Catalan outfit captain wished the safe times for the club fans who are suffering the difficult times.
Atletico Madrid are another Spanish major with a big heart towards their non-playing staffs. Similar to that of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid have also agreed to a 70% pay cut to help others out.
Moreover, the best-paid manager in the world, Diego Simeone has accepted to take the significant pay cut who earns approximately 3.2 billion rupees a year. The gesture would not only help the non-playing staffs, but it will also help the club management as the total debt stands around 522 million euros.
Apart from the United States and Spain, Italy is one of the badly hit countries due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the pandemic, Italy has seen close to 16000 deaths out of 128948 confirmed cases. The Turin based outfit is one of the badly hit clubs across Europe.
In order to help the Bianconeri management, manager Maurizio Sarri and the players have agreed to take a temporary pay cut in order to help all the non-playing staffs. In the recent club statement, Juventus were thankful for the initiative by players and their gaffer as they are going to save around 90 million euros.
According to the reports, the club players have reduced their wages which amounts to four months salaries. The effective reduction in the wages will also reduce the wages of star player, Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns around 31 million euros a year.
When the whole world is fighting the pandemic, it is only the English Premier League which has not taken any major steps to fight out the situation. However, termed as one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Manchester United have come out of the shell and the players have decided to take up a pay cut of 30% to help the needy members.
Manchester United have decided to pay the collected sum to the coronavirus fighting National Health Service workers and local hospitals. And according to Daily Mail reports, it was the club-record signing Harry Maguire who initiated and discussed the idea with his fellow players.
Apart from this, the club has said that they will be continuing to pay the non-playing staff and has told that they will not be using the UK government’s furlough scheme to protect themselves.
Though the steps of the above-mentioned clubs show their attitude towards the crisis and staff, whereas few other top clubs are not in any mood to solve the crisis. around 550 non-playing staff of Tottenham Hotspurs have taken a pay cut of 20% in order to avoid the job loss. The club like Liverpool have decided to furlough their staff in order to compensate for the full payment to their players.
After Liverpool have drawn the flak from their legendary players, Manchester City released the statement that they will not be furloughing any non-playing staff to compensate the other things.
Every football fan will be hoping that the beautiful game resumes back into action within a very short span of time. What are the solutions on your behalf? Should football be played behind closed doors or the season should be called null and void? Express your opinions below.
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