La Liga president Javier Tebas opens up on salary reductions of football clubs amid Covid-19

The salary cap for Spanish league clubs has been reduced by more than $700 million because of the coronavirus pandemic, with Barcelona and Valencia in line to take the biggest hit, La Liga president Javier Tebas revealed in a virtual press conference earlier this week, along with LaLiga General director Pepe Guerra. Tebas added that clubs Barcelona and Valencia are expected to make salary reductions of about 40 percent this season, while Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are expected to make 27 per cent of adjustments to their season.

In response to a question provided by the Hindustan Times, Tebas also agreed that the uncertainty over the salary caps may remain as long as the virus lasts. The La Liga president, though, added that the situation with the pandemic is improving and there are hopes of a vaccine coming out soon.

“Yes, of course we all are very concerned about the pandemic affecting the economy of the whole country and football is not exempt from this. Although, luckily we are an industry which can have different kinds of activities. With the coordination to the higher sports council and the ministry of health we have been able to do this,” Tebas said.

“But we are obviously concerned about the salary caps but I believe these concerns should be diminished as we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. In another 2-4 months we should see vaccines as companies are manufacturing millions of vaccines,” he said.

“We are seeing the next season very similar to 19-20 season, with maybe not so many people going to the stadiums but at least as far as on the front of satisfying sponsors and other financial aspects,” he added.

Another additional cost for the football leagues across Europe has been over the new security measures and testing kit. The La Liga players continue to get tested on a regular basis – while the stadiums are also required to ensure that no one goes in and out of the bubble. In July, when the last season of La Liga had restarted – a player had entered the stadium to shake hands with Lionel Messi- and amid a pandemic – such incidents pose a larger threat.

On being asked about the security expenditure, another query posed by the Hindustan Times, Tebas said that the league is ensuring all the measures to ensure the best possible security for players and teams, though, he added that it has not affected the balance sheets too much.

“Yes, we have invested in all these security measures but they are not amounts that significantly affect the balance sheet, economic accounts of LaLiga or its clubs. It has been necessary to buy tests, change infrastructures, advice, personnel, etc,” Tebas said.

“But this is also a very important aspect of awareness raising, hard work to draw up a protocol for returning to training, awareness raising for all club staff, etc,” he added.

“And thanks to this economic investment, the work of LaLiga and its clubs, the commitment, and effort of everyone, professional football has returned at such a delicate time,” Tebas concluded.

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