Italian top-flight clubs agree players' pay cuts

Milan (AFP) –


Italian top-flight football clubs have unanimously reached agreement to cut the salaries of players, coaches and staff as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the Lega Serie A announced on Monday.

All football in Italy has been suspended since March 9 as a result of the pandemic which has killed over 16,000 people in the country.

Players' salaries will be reduced by a third of their gross annual earnings if the season should be cancelled, and a sixth if it resumes.

The decision was unanimously approved by Serie A clubs, with the exception of Juventus, which had already hammered out a deal with its own players, said Lega Serie A.

Individual agreements must still be signed between the clubs and players, who will waive between two and four months salary.

The Lega Serie A reiterated after Monday's videoconference meeting with club presidents its "desire to conclude the season and resume play, without taking any risks, only when health conditions and government decisions allow".

It added that the action "was necessary to safeguard the future of the entire Italian football system".

However, the head of the Italian footballers' association (AIC), Damiano Tommasi, blasted the proposal as "incomprehensible".

"I can't understand the business logic behind this behaviour, putting the players, the main protagonists of the show, in a bad light, when almost everyone is already discussing with clubs how to get out of this crisis together," said Tommasi.

"It seems crazy to me," added the former Italy and Roma player.

League leaders Juventus announced late last month that they had cut their players' and coach Maurizio Sarri's salaries over the period from March to June.

The Italian champions estimated that the cuts would have "a positive impact of 90 million euros on the 2019/2020 financial year".