European football

Inter Milan contact Real Madrid and Barcelona over salary cuts

Serie A clubs are analysing reductions of up to 30% in order to minimise losses if the season is ended prematurely, and discussions flow further afield.

Inter Milan contact Real Madrid and Barcelona over salary cuts
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Serie A clubs are seriously considering cutting footballers' salaries due to the coronavirus emergency. At this time it is impossible to foresee a return date for the competition, with the most optimistic of estimates looking at football maybe being played again in early May, with it ending on June 30.

Players could take 30% salary cut

If this is not possible, there are two scenarios. The first one is an extension to the season until July, something that would entail modifying all the player contracts that are due to expire at the end of June. Transfer window rules would also have to be altered to allow current squads to remain together until everything is completed. AS has been told that a large proportion of footballers in Italy, and their agents, have agreed to this option.

The second option, based on the crisis not being curtailed in time, is that the championships are cancelled with no further play. For Serie A, the financial impact of this would be enormous: around 800 million euros, but very possibly more. Many clubs have already invested the money they expected from television rights, and that revenue would be lost for the final period of the season.

Attempts to reduce the impact include lowering expenditure, and this is why during yesterday's assembly, the Serie A clubs discussed suspending payments to their players for the month of March. Damiano Tommasi, president of AIC, the Italian footballers association, opened the doors to the negotiation stating that ”footballers are the first ones interested in maintaining the system", but he also asked for calm, as it is still unknown if the season will be suspended. He also felt that each player should have to decide individually: "We cannot compel anyone,“ he stated.

According to Il Giornale, the CEO of Inter Milan, Beppe Marotta, has been in contact with several European clubs to propose the same strategy in this matter, including Spanish heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid. And the Italian newspaper reports that both have already given their approval.

The idea would be to cut 30% of the salaries for the players, who would effectively forego their payments for March, April, May and June. The negotiation would be complicated and long, but the truth is that nobody wants this to go that way. The hope is that football, and normal life in general, can return sooner rather than later.

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