Atletico Madrid have announced a package of wage cuts and temporary redundancies that will affect as many as 500 employees such as gamers.
If Barcelona would be the club most fighting with the financial results of the coronavirus due to their massive over-spend, Atletico Madrid aren’t far behind them.
Atletico made an enormous investment last summer when they spent 112million on then 19-year-old Joao Felix and it stretched the club to the extent that, when injuries to Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata meant they had a forward in January, they had been not able to buy one.
Now the team is the 2nd Spanish giant behind Barcelona, late on Thursday, to declare an ‘ERTE’ – the temporary laying-off of staff for a time period in exceptional conditions.
Barcelona players will see their wages slashed despite the squad and board having to reach an agreement as worries rumble on in the Catalan club.
ATLETICO MADRID’S TOP EARNERS
Diego Simeone #700,000 p/w
Jan Oblak #360,000 p/w
Diego Costa #270,000 p/w
Koke #270,000 p/w
Joao Felix #250,000 p/w
Saul Niguez #206,000 p/w
Vitolo #180,000 p/w
Alvaro Morata #170,000 p/w
Thomas Lemar #108,000 p/w
Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil said wage cuts were necessary to ensure the’success of the club’ with the team being paid despite the season being suspended indefinitely, which has influenced the revenues of clubs around Europe.
Gil said the team made a’difficult decision’ to request a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) that enables them to cut salaries when circumstances are beyond their control.
‘We’re working to decrease the effects of the measure and limit it to what is strictly essential, so that when the competition resumes, everything will work as it was until now,’ he said in a statement.
‘Our sponsors and cooperating businesses are suffering like us and the rest of society in the terrible effect of this health and financial crisis. I need to thank you for your devotion to such hard times and for your help.’
Care at Atletico will then have to be turned on the playing squad and even on Diego Simeone, the highest-earning coach in soccer. Additionally, it will impact the third-most-expensive playing team in LaLiga. Atletico’s wage bill stands at #312million.
The top earner in the club isn’t a participant but director Simeone, who is paid a staggering #37m annually – #700,000 a week.
Goalkeeper Jan Oblak is paid nearly half of Simeone’s salary but is the club’s highest earner on the playing staff at #360,000 p/w.
Diego Costa takes residence #270,000 p/w, while the other former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is paid #700,000 p/w.
Captain Koke (#270,000 p/w), Felix (#250,000 p/w) and Saul Niguez (#206,000 p/w) are the next highest earners.
After the club announced its funding at the beginning of the season, they estimated earnings to be at #462m. That figure is now in danger of not being attained if remaining games need to be played behind closed doors or not played in any way, endangering television money in addition to matchday income.
‘Everybody is doing ERTEs,’ said president Enrique Cerezo. ‘But ERTEs aren’t EREs,’ he added with regard to permanent lay-offs, which is also an option for clubs.
Asked about the potential for wage cuts for playing and training staff, he added:’We’ve spoken to the players and they’re aware of the circumstance. I am aware that there was to be no issue, not from them, or the training staff.’
The block in the season came at the most inopportune moment for Atletico Madrid. They had been on a high, having knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League and Simeone eventually had his full playing team back fit again.
The most recent rumours circulating among some players have pointed to the possibility of restarting the league in mid-May but Cerezo warned:’We do not know how the situation will evolve. And it is pointless saying that we can restart in May because nobody understands.’
ATLETICO’S SUMMER SPENDING SPREE
1. Joao Felix (#112 million)
2. Marcos Llorente (#27 million)
3. Mario Hermoso (#22 million)
4. Kieran Trippier (#19.8 million)
5. Felipe (#18 million)
6. Renan Lodi (#18 million)
Complete: #216.8 million
Spain is suffering more than any other country in Europe other than Italy throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of those who have died rose by 769 within only 1 day, with the most recent total of deaths being 4,858.
The complete number of COVID-19 instances in Spain is over 64,000.
In Barcelona, the club’s hierarchy and the star-studded squad have been at odds once again, with a decrease in wages mooted because of the financial difficulties faced as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak in Spain.
Sportsmail reported Thursday that the senior members of the group balked in a proposed 70 percent reduction in salary, with president Josep Maria Bartomeu looking to secure a more favourable compromise. However, the Barcelona board have opted to go ahead and cut the players’ salaries without securing the approval of the gamers, Marca reports.
With FIFA advocating that clubs should cut their players’ salary by 50 percent while competitions are halted, Barcelona have captured the incentive to reduce the wages of the squad.
A statement from Barcelona’s board clarified that because the players’ working hours are reduced, it would follow that their wages should also.