Italy’s Serie A football league has recommended that clubs impose wage cuts of between two and four months’ pay on playing and coaching staff to reduce losses during the coronavirus outbreak.
After an emergency general assembly by video conference, the league said in a statement on Monday that the stoppage caused by the contagion had left Italian football in a “very difficult” situation.
The league added that this had led to an urgent need for a reduction of costs.
It proposed cutting annual wages by one-third if Serie A was unable to resume and by one-sixth if it was able to restart.
However, it added that each club would have to negotiate the cuts with its players.
Nineteen of Serie A’s 20 clubs voted for the recommendation while Italian champions Juventus abstained, having already reached a separate agreement with their players, a Serie A source said.
Serie A has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 15,887 lives in Italy, almost a quarter of the global death total.
It is not certain when or even if the season will restart.
But Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina said on Sunday that the season, originally due to finish in May, could run until September or October if necessary.
Serie A said the move was “necessary to safeguard the future of the entire Italian football system.
“The intervention… foresees a reduction of one third of the total gross annual salary in the event that it is not possible to resume sporting activity, and a reduction of one sixth… if the remaining matches of the 2019/2020 season can be played in the coming months.
“The clubs are ready to do their part by incurring huge losses to ensure the future of Italian football” and that “the main expense for the clubs is represented by the payroll.”
European football’s governing body UEFA has urged all national leagues to try and complete the season.
It had warned that clubs from competitions which are abandoned may be barred from the Champions League and Europa League next season.
“The assembly confirmed the desire to play again and finish the season, but without running risks and only when health conditions and government decisions allow,” added the Serie A statement.
Juventus announced on March 28 that coach Maurizio Sarri and his players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, had agreed to a wage cut.
It was a cut which would save the Turin club 90 million euros (79.3 million pounds).