Juventus squad agree to take four-month pay cut
Juventus players and coach Maurizio Sarri have reached an agreement over a wage reduction that will save the Italian champions 90 million euros (S$142.94m), the Serie A club announced on Saturday.
Sarri and the first-team players have agreed what amounts to a four-month pay reduction to help the defending champions during the coronavirus crisis, which has infected over 92,000 people and killed more than 10,000 in Italy.
The effective one-third cut to the players’ annual salaries will mean a huge drop in wages for a squad headed by Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, the best-paid footballer in Italy who reportedly earns 31 million euros a year.
The agreement comes at a time when many clubs around Europe have had to cut wage bills because of the dramatic impact of matches having to be postponed or played behind closed doors due to the spread of the virus.
“The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about 90 million euros for the 2019/2020 financial year,” Juventus said in a statement.
“The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020,” it added, saying personal agreements with Sarri and the players will be finalised in the coming weeks.
The Turin-based club, in one of the regions hit hardest by the crisis, have suffered in recent weeks with three of their players having tested positive for the virus – forward Paulo Dybala, defender Daniele Rugani and midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
Italy’s top-fight Serie A league has been suspended since March 9 with Juventus, seeking a ninth successive title, leading the league by one point from Lazio with 12 games each remaining.
Juventus added in a statement: “Should the current season’s matches be rescheduled, the club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensation according to the actual resumption and finalisation of official competitions.
“Juventus would like to thank the players and the coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone.”
Long-serving defender Giorgio Chiellini led the players’ negotiations amid reports in the Italian media that Ronaldo had agreed to sacrifice 3.8 million euros of his yearly wage to ease the financial burden on the club while Italy is in lockdown.
The agreement comes the day after leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid took the decision to cut the wages of their staff, including the players, to ease the financial burden on the club.
Atletico joined La Liga rivals Barcelona, who imposed a compulsory wage reduction on their players during the period of lockdown after Spain became the second-most affected country by the coronavirus in Europe behind Italy.
GermanBundesliga clubs Borussia Moenchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund have also said their players would forego some of their salary. – REUTERS