At a time when solidarity and charity are particularly important in society, football, which has grown in size in recent years and stands out from reality, is understandably taking a back seat. Nevertheless, it is already being discussed in Germany or England, for example, when the relevant leagues will start again.
What happens to the players’ salaries? Has the big football bubble finally burst?
However, the most important question for the clubs is already on the agenda: How do we survive the crisis and how does the suspended game play affect our own finances and, in a second step, the future of the club? Because the sports teams at professional level are now predominantly commercial companies, managers have to find ways and means to avert impending bankruptcy.
The largest part of the fixed costs are by far the salaries of the players. For example, Paris St. Germain has to shell out an amount of over three million euros per month for its top earner Neymar. The smaller or financially weaker the club, the greater the risk of not surviving the current health crisis.
In the search for possible solutions, the companies (aka the clubs) hope that the employees (aka the players) will be accommodating. The measures that have meanwhile been discussed daily in the media, such as short-time working, the introduction of the salary cap or a general regulation of the leagues, may also be able to remedy the commercial product “football” in almost the same form as before the crisis in the coming days, weeks and months receive.
What happens to player salaries in soccer?
➡️ Short-time work is requested
➡️ Waiver of salary of the players
➡️ Reduction in clubs / leagues
➡️ Contract termination by associations
➡️ Introduction of a salary cap
➡️ 50 + 1 rule is under scrutiny
Players waive their salary
The most solidarity scenario and at the same time best for the clubs is a voluntary waiver of the players. Borussia Mönchengladbach’s professionals were the first to publicly communicate that they would forego part of their salary to help the club on the one hand and the other employees on the other. The stars of the top clubs Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern also followed suit.
Footballers voluntarily donate money
For many normal Otto consumers, it is almost mandatory that the footballers make casual cuts in their horrendous salary sums. Accordingly, donating salaries or funds only has a positive impact on society.
Especially the #WeKickCorona relief campaign launched by the two national players Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka is currently starting really well. Both Bayern players submitted one million euros each; many other colleagues like Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng or Leroy Sané did the same.
How do the Bundesliga teams deal with the salaries of their professionals?
FC Bayern ➡️ voluntary waiver of the professionals
Borussia Dortmund ➡️ voluntary waiver of salaries by professionals
RB Leipzig ➡️ has not yet taken any measures
Borussia Mönchengladbach ➡️ voluntary waiver of wages by the professionals – pioneer
Bayer Leverkusen ➡️ players ready to waive salary
Schalke 04 ➡️ voluntary waiver of the professionals
VfL Wolfsburg ➡️ has not yet taken any measures
SC Freiburg ➡️ has not yet taken any action
TSG Hoffenheim ➡️ has not yet taken any measures
Short-time work in football!
With millions of employers in Germany, the word ‘short-time work’ has been firmly anchored in the vocabulary in recent days. The reduced working hours associated with this measure and the payment of a maximum of 67% of the actual wages ensure at least temporary help in the clubs.
Because the majority of German professional clubs are currently in the “home office” and cannot / must / do not have to do any ongoing games and training, those responsible have the options to apply for this short-time work. This saves salaries, reduces running costs and safeguards jobs, especially for club employees who do not earn their living by playing football.
Will a salary cap be introduced in soccer?
In the United States, the salary cap has long been an indispensable tool, on the one hand to maintain the equal opportunities of all teams to a certain extent and on the other hand to prevent the franchises from being grossly indebted. In Europe, on the other hand, solid economic activity, taking on new debts or participation by investors determines the concept of the clubs. A salary cap has so far been categorically rejected.
It is quite possible that the decision-makers will rethink their current situation. However, the danger of an upper salary limit is obvious and will probably nip a corresponding approach early in the bud.
Because only if the European competitors could agree on the introduction of this Salary Cup across the whole continent, would the Champions or Europa League continue to keep their high tension from now on and not, for example, from teams from a nationality who opposed implementation, be dominated.
Does the 50 + 1 rule apply in the Bundesliga?
The tired topic of the 50 + 1 rule, which the Bundesliga continues to claim with determination, is also closely linked to equal opportunities at international level.
Because the many traditionalists in the Federal Republic fear that their favorite club will almost entirely fall into the hands of a well-heeled investor, the rule so far was that investors, by purchasing shares, did not have a majority vote in corporations, in the professional departments of football –
Associations were outsourced.
However, since the consequences of the global economic crisis that awaits us cannot yet be precisely estimated, the German Football League could ultimately have no choice but to debate the outdated regulation again. It is quite possible that some clubs, especially from the lower divisions, can only avoid bankruptcy if this much-discussed rule is overturned.
Leagues want to cut salaries across the board
A few days ago, Serie A made a surprising advance in terms of a flat-rate salary cut. The Italian league proposed to the players union to cut the salary of all professionals by 30%. However, whether such a suggestion is actually implemented and accepted by the actors seems more than questionable.
It may be more interesting to think about whether the clubs in a league stand together in solidarity, together or helping each other in the difficult phase and establish a “rescue fund” that would have to be paid out according to a necessary distribution key. In large parts of Europe, however, it seems impossible for the states to take sporting businesses under their umbrella.
FC Sion terminates contracts
In addition to the primarily collegial measures listed above, there is of course also a less beautiful, draconian and action-oriented action, to which Christian Constantin, president of the Swiss Super League club FC Sion, who was criticized anyway, was carried away.
A good week ago, the club boss canceled nine existing contracts because the players refused in the first step to accept short-time work benefits. This rejection of the well-known professionals like Johann Djourou or Alex Song is not based on malicious intent, but on the request to seek legal advice about this procedure.
With properly managed clubs, the players need not be afraid that the step of unilaterally terminating the contract, which is debatable under labor law, will make the round.
Salary adjustments at Bundesliga clubs
- FC Köln ➡️ professionals ready to waive their wages
- Union Berlin ➡️ announced waiver of salary
- Eintracht Frankfurt ➡️ voluntary waiver of the professionals
- Hertha BSC ➡️ has not yet taken any action
- FC Augsburg ➡️ has not yet taken any measures
- Mainz 05 ➡️ voluntary waiver of salaries by professionals
- Fortuna Dusseldorf ➡️ suggests leadership waiver
- Werder Bremen ➡️ voluntary waiver of the professionals
- SC Paderborn ➡️ has not yet taken any action
What does football look like after the crisis?
Many experts are currently asking themselves whether society will emerge stronger from the crisis. The same can logically be extended to football. In the past, there was often talk of the “big bubble” that could burst at some point due to the excessive transfer amounts. In fact, it currently seems far from unlikely that significantly less money will flow in and around football in the coming months or years.
In the long term, there is no need to worry about the “most beautiful thing in the world”. The fascination with football remains unbroken and imagine now that we will have a barbecue with friends in the garden in the summer of 2021 and at the same time cheer on our national team’s TV at the 2021 European Championship. An incomparable anticipation arises!