Many professional footballers can't afford salary cuts, says FIFPRO

Many professional soccer players around the world earn little more than an average income and cannot afford to cut their wages during the coronavirus crisis, the global players union FIFPRO saying Reuters television on Friday.

Players in England's high income Premier league have faced calls to accept wage cuts while the sport is at a standstill, but FIFPRO General Secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann said the situation was very different elsewhere.

Most players can only afford a cut in wages as much as any other worker, he said. Their income is not in the range that people suppose it is.

They are paid much less, often around the average national income. Minimum-wage players exist around the world, and for them, any cut can have drastic personal consequences in terms of simply paying rent or buying food for their families.

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He added that even within leagues the situation could vary greatly between clubs.

" Juventus He has a completely different perspective than teams in 17th, 18th or 19th place, he said.

Last Saturday, Italian champions Juve said their players had accepted pay cuts from March to June, an agreement that Baer-Hoffmann appreciated.

However, he added that while most clubs behaved reasonably, there were also knee-jerk reactions from some.

We are concerned that in some parts of the world many clubs are already resorting to unilateral decisions in terms of layoffs and salary cuts in terms that players simply cannot afford, he said.

The vast majority of clubs are in serious financial difficulties and, I don't want to generalize, but we do see cases of irresponsible and cynical reactions ... taking advantage of (the situation) to fire players.

He reiterated that it was essential to try to end the current season in European countries and said he was surprised by the Belgian league's decision on Thursday to abandon its competition and declare leaders Club Bruges like champions

We discourage those decisions, if we make them now we have massive consequences, he said. It will not be a pretty situation for many of the players, it is not a good situation for the fans.

Outside of the richer leagues, the impact could be catastrophic, as clubs could be without revenue for six months.

If this leads to massive insolvencies, of course, not only players but thousands of others working in the professional soccer industry and sports industries will lose their jobs, he added.