Sat | Jun 6, 2020

LaLiga players question furloughs

Published:Monday | April 6, 2020 | 12:22 AM
Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann takes a shot on during their LaLiga game against Valencia at Estadio Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday, September 14, 2019.
Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann takes a shot on during their LaLiga game against Valencia at Estadio Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday, September 14, 2019.

MADRID, Spain (AP):

Footballers in Spain has criticised the Spanish League’s decision to ask clubs to put the footballers on government furloughs during the coronavirus crisis yesterday.

The league, on Friday, said that the furloughs were needed because there was no agreement on the size of the salary cuts that players must take to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic.

“It is strange that the Liga supports (the furloughs),” Spain’s players’ association said in a statement.

It said that the league should have created a financial cushion for this period considering that it had always boasted about its “economic control measures” and the “well-balanced economy” of the Spanish clubs. The association said it also should be taken into account that the league has been temporarily suspended and not yet cancelled.

The league and the players’ association have been in talks to try to find ways to mitigate losses that could reach nearly €1 billion (J$145 billion) if the season cannot be restarted because of the pandemic.

The players said they agree with a salary reduction to help the clubs during the crisis but not to the extent the league wants, which could amount to nearly half of the total losses if the competition is not resumed.

DIRECTION NEGOTIATION

Players said they want to keep negotiating directly with the clubs instead of being forced into furloughs.

“The clubs and the players have been reaching agreements regarding the salaries,” the players’ association said. “What footballers are not going to do is relinquish labour rights.”

Barcelona and Atlético Madrid are among the Spanish clubs requesting furloughs, but both directly negotiated the amount of the salary reduction with players – 70 per cent in both cases. Both clubs and their players are contributing to guarantee the wages of non-playing employees being furloughed.

Spanish media said Espanyol became one of the first teams to have the furlough request approved yesterday.