World football players’ union FifPro has said it is “extremely concerned” at the number of clubs that have imposed redundancies and wage cuts after the stoppage of the sport caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Soccer has been brought to a standstill by the coronavirus crisis with domestic leagues suspended and international competitions such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America postponed.
FifPro and its affiliated national unions had already received “a large volume of calls for assistance from professional footballers”, it said on Friday.
Although it said it was encouraged by co-operation at international level, FifPro expressed concern that “a significant number of clubs [...] have begun to immediately lay off players or unilaterally reduce their salaries”.
“We call on clubs with short-term financial difficulties to meet with national player unions to negotiate fair and proportionate arrangements which respect their legal obligations,” FifPro added.
Only a small minority of soccer players enjoyed luxury lifestyles, the union said.
“Most football players outside the world’s biggest leagues are earning at the same level or below average domestic income and would be severely affected by salary decreases,” it added.
Even the biggest clubs have begun to enforce wage cuts, however, with Barcelona doing so this week before La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid followed on Friday.
Meanwhile, German Bundesliga clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund were among those whose players voluntarily took wage reductions.