Athletic Only Considering Minor Wage Reductions If Necessary
Athletic may be the most financially secure club in La Liga but no one is safe from the financial repercussions that are being brought by the football stoppage. With no television revenue or tickets being sold, amongst other things, clubs are losing a lot of money and many are already taking measures to combat the loss. Some have asked players to lower their wages while others have filed for ERTE to obtain government assistance.
To this point Athletic have no intention to file for ERTE. However, La Liga have shared recommendations for wage reductions with the clubs and Athletic have developed a possible plan if necessary. If the need arises Athletic would also want to reach an agreement with the players and staff to come to a unified understanding. The plan would lower wages based on how the current situation unfolds.
Over the past few weeks several players have shared in interviews that they had not been contacted about possible pay cuts, but noted that they would be willing to lower their wages if it was needed to help the club. According to a new report from Javier Ortiz de Lazcano of El Correo, the possible wage reduction plan would be much lower than other clubs.
If the season cannot be finished and is canceled the club would stand to lose roughly €30 million from television rights, ticket sales, and Socio dues. In response, Athletic would lower wages by 20% to save between €20-25 million. If the season can be finished, but only behind closed doors, a loss of €10-12 million would occur and the club would only reduce wages by 10%.
The best case scenarios is that the season will return and be finished completely. If that were to happen, Athletic would only lower wages by around 5% to help offset revenue that was lost during the stoppage. This is the Board’s first proposal to the players who will now analyze the offer before giving their response. Many players have said they are willing to reduce their wages to help the club, but an agreement between everyone is the goal.
A number of clubs including Barcelona, Alavés, and Espanyol have already moved to reduce wages by 70% while the stoppage is in effect. On the other hand, Atlético Madrid and Real Betis have elected to follow a similar plan to that of Athletic. By comparison Atlético have proposed reducing wages by 18% if the season cannot be finished and 9% if the campaign resumes as normal.
Every club will take a different approach to the situation because each one follows a unique budget based on their own various forms of generating revenue. With an extraordinary fund of €116 million and no debt, Athletic are in a favorable position that will allow the club more freedom to navigate this unprecedented moment in history.