Spanish soccer players are pushing back against La Liga which is reportedly asking them to shoulder nearly half of the expected financial losses coronavirus will bring. The drop in revenue as a result of the global pandemic is estimated to hit around $1.08 billion if the season is unable to be restarted.
Players are willing to take pay cuts, it's just the total that they disagree with the league on. They argue that the proposal to cut costs currently on the table would total $487 million. Spanish media reports indicate that the league could lose $1.03 billion if the season is outright canceled -- which is where the argument of players taking on almost half of the costs comes from. If the season resumes without fans, the losses to drop to $327 million, and they'll drop to $168 million if it can return with fans in the stands.
"After analyzing the current circumstances of the sector and given the distance in conversations with the players' association, it is necessary to adopt measures in view of the serious economic crisis that COVID-19 is causing in the Spanish soccer industry," the league said in a statement before saying that clubs putting players on federally recommended furloughs should be implemented before this massive pay cut is considered.
Salary reductions are not uniform for every club. The size of the wage loss depends on the club's financial stability as well as whether it's participating in European competitions like the Europa or Champions League. Atlético Madrid and Barcelona have each committed to furloughing employees, for example. The clubs reduced player salaries by 70 percent and guaranteed the wages of other employees were unaffected.
Spain isn't the only country where players are fighting wage cuts. In England, players rejected ato their salaries that the Premier League proposed Friday.