Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid Players Take 70 Percent Pay Cut During COVID-19

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2020

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone waits for the start of the Champions League, Group D, soccer match between Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone and the club's players have agreed to a 70 percent pay cut after the team announced it would present an ERTE during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rodrigo Faez and Alex Kirkland of ESPN, a step that Spanish businesses can take during an emergency to cut the wages of its staff.

The club released the following statement Thursday:

"The first team squad and coaching staff understand the club's need to present an ERTE, respect its conditions and accept the resulting financial impact on their incomes. All members of the first team have reached an internal agreement with the club that defines two different scenarios depending on the final outcome of the 2019-20 season. The filing will mean a 70 percent reduction in the salaries of coaches and players of the men's first team, the women's first team and Atletico Madrid B, while the state of emergency lasts."

Per Faez and Kirkland, Simeone and the players "were keen" to help the support staff by taking the pay cuts, which will supplement 50 percent of the salaries for 430 Atletico employees. Team executives will pay the other 50 percent. 

Atletico's La Liga rivals, Barcelona, took similar measures, with its players also taking a 70 percent pay cut, while in the Bundesliga, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Schalke 04 and Hoffenheim have enforced player pay cuts. 

And La Liga clubs Espanyol and Alaves will also present ERTEs to reduce wage bills amid the coronavirus pandemic. Faez and Kirkland reported that Real Madrid "have no plans to take similar measures."

As of Thursday, there have been over 962,000 reported cases of COVID-19, per CNN.com, with 49,180 deaths. In Spain there have been over 110,000 cases and 10,003 deaths. 

When, or if, La Liga's season resumes, Atletico will attempt to claw back into a top-four position. The Spanish powerhouse sits in sixth place on 45 points.