Sources: Real Madrid planning more pay cuts

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Real Madrid‘s players will be asked to take another pay cut as the club deals with the ongoing losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, sources have told ESPN.

The club are putting the finishing touches to this season’s budget, which will be finalised in the next few days, and will then present a proposal to the first team squad.

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Sources have told ESPN the exact percentage of salaries that the players will be asked to give up has not yet been fixed.

When that figure is set, talks will be held with the club’s captains Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Raphael Varane.

In April, a first pay cut of between 10% and 20% was agreed for players, coaching staff and top executives, while the club decided not to spend money on new signings during the summer transfer window.

The squad also agreed to give up bonuses they were owed for winning La Liga this summer.

Those measures helped protect the jobs of club workers and avoid the need for the club to implement temporary job losses, known in Spanish employment law as an ERTE.

It remains to be seen how the players will respond to this latest proposal. Sources have told ESPN that, in principle, they are sympathetic to the club’s situation.

The Real Madrid board have had to work hard to adjust their planning and minimise the financial damage in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

Like other top clubs, they have suffered a decrease in revenue from sponsorship and marketing opportunities, as well as the lack of ticket sales caused by the need to play behind closed doors at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium rather than a packed Santiago Bernabeu.

Sources at La Liga have told ESPN that Europe’s biggest clubs can see a shortfall of between €3 million to €4m per home match, when all losses are taken into account.

Spain’s sports minster Irene Lozano suggested on Wednesday that there is a possibility fans will be allowed back into La Liga stadiums before the end of the 2020-21 season if the circumstances, and a potential vaccine, allow.