The Juventus players and manager have reached an agreement over a wage reduction that will save the club €90m (£81m), it was announced on Saturday. Maurizio Sarri and his players will take what amounts to a four-month pay cut to help the Italian champions during the coronavirus crisis.
The agreement comes at a time when leading clubs around Europe have had to slash wage bills because of the dramatic impact of matches being postponed or played behind closed doors due to the spread of the virus.
“The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about €90m for the 2019/2020 financial year,” Juventus said in a statement. “The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020.” Personal agreements with Sarri and the players will be finalised in the coming weeks.
The Turin club is based in one of the regions hit hardest by the crisis and in recent weeks three of their players – Paulo Dybala, Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi – have tested positive for Covid-19.
Football around the world has been brought to a standstill by the pandemic and Italy’s top flight has been suspended since 9 March. Italy has had the highest number of deaths in any country from the virus.
“Due to the current global health emergency preventing the performance of the sporting activity, Juventus has reached an understanding with the players and the coach of the first team regarding their compensation for the residual portion of the current sport season,” the statement said. “The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly wages of March, April, May and June 2020.”
“Should the current season’s matches be rescheduled, the club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensation according to the actual resumption and finalisation of official competitions. Juventus would like to thank the players and the coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone.”
The defender Giorgio Chiellini is understood to have led the players’ negotiations amid reports in the Italian media that Cristiano Ronaldo had agreed to sacrifice €3.8m of his yearly wage to ease the burden on the club while Italy is in lockdown.
The agreement comes the day after leading Spanish club Atlético Madrid took the decision to cut the wages of their staff, including the players. Barcelona also imposed a compulsory wage reduction on their players during the period of lockdown after Spain became the second most affected country by the coronavirus in Europe.