CORONAVIRUS | DE LIÉBANA

Coronavirus: "Players will have to give up part of their wages" warns economist

Spanish economist José María Gay de Liébana says that players should forego some of their salaries as a gesture to help stricken clubs, to avoid serious problems.

Coronavirus: "Players will have to give up part of their wages" warns economist

Spanish economist José María Gay de Liébana believes that if the coronavirus crisis persists, the economic effects in sport and particularly in LaLiga could be catastrophic. He suggested that players should relinquish part of their wages to help clubs maintain some kind of stability - if not, there could be serious problems at many of the more vulnerable football clubs.

In a conversation with EFE, Gay de Liébana declared that the current situation for Spanish clubs during the coronavirus pandemic has reached "a very critical moment". He explained, "If the suspension of competitions continues for several more weeks, the federations should declare all of the domestic tournaments null and void and start again from zero next season to avoid any injustice".

Some football clubs could disappear because of the coronavirus crisis

De Liébana believes that we are in uncharted waters with risks we haven't seen the like of before because many clubs live beyond their means and that the football industry is bubble waiting to pop. He feels that the current crisis will leave many clubs fighting for survival and that some of them, the ones who are more fragile economically, may disappear altogether.

Faced with such a bleak scenario, De Liébana has made a plea to players, their agents and the AFE to relinquish a percentage of their salary to help their clubs if the situation continues. "Players should make a gesture to their clubs and take a self-imposed pay cut this season. We all need to help each other at this moment and some need to help more than others. Players must give up part of their salaries because if competition has been suspended, clubs will not generate any income. I don't know what will happen this season but the clubs will need to take some kind of action because they will be losing a large part of their revenue - income from television broadcasting rights, marking and gate receipts," he explained. "If there are no competitions, the sponsors could argue that their brand has no visibility and that's understandable because they are within their rights not to pay, and the same goes for season ticket holders. If this goes on much longer, it's only normal that the situation will need to be reconsidered and the players will need to chip in. For now, only one matchday has been suspended - the situation is serious but not critical. But if things are still the same in two weeks' time, which is looking likely, because this isn't going to get back to normal until September, all of us will need to make sacrifices," he concluded.