Spanish players union president criticises pay cuts while players still training

David Aganzo, the president of AFE Spanish Players union, has said that football clubs imposing wage cuts on their players does not make sense if they continue to train.

An ERTE is Spain’s temporary redundancy scheme which is activated by the state of emergency within the country, with businesses losing access to their profits.

A Barcelona statement on Monday confirmed that the club’s players would sacrifice upwards of 70% of their wages to protect the income of the club’s non-playing staff.

An Espanyol statement also confirmed 70 percent pay cut for all players, coaches, physios of their men’s, women’s and youth teams while Atletico Madrid confirmed the same move on Thursday.

“The footballers have not stopped. The competition, for the moment, has been temporarily suspended, but it has not been cancelled, and therefore, everyone has continued to work,” Aganzo told an interview with Diario Sport.

“They are a following a daily plan of training, rest, eating. Applying an ERTE of contract suspension force majeure is not understandable because their training continues.

“The ERTE would therefore reduce hours that must be agreed separately with the footballers. Doing an ERTE without having finished the competition, and with the sequence of a state of emergency, should make those who are doing it reflect on the commitment they have with their employers.”

Aganzo then addressed a number of other pressing issues, including the stance of the union and body of Spanish players on completing the season.

While he stressed the need and desire to complete the current season, he stressed that the health and safety of the players and all other staff involved in fixtures must be the priority.

“The footballers want to end the season and so they have transferred it to us, more than one has also publicly stated it,” he continued.

“But this matter does not depend on any of us, but instead upon the health authorities; We are talking about a public health issue and you have to be very cautious about it.

“Above all, the health of footballers must be maintained, along with the health of all the people who work within a football club and of all the workers who are close to them on a game day.

“I want to remember that AFE was the first institution to step forward and request that football stop, taking into account what our Italian colleagues told us.

“And, in fact, we sent different letters in this regard to the CSD, La Liga and Spanish FA, in relation to what was happening in Italy and which already warned what could happen, and, is happening in Spain.

“I am clear that to return to play you must ensure one hundred percent that the health of footballers is not put at risk, as well as that of anyone who participates in this sport. And we must not forget that there are all the families of all the athletes.”

Tags AFE David Aganzo