FIFPro says players in Cyprus cannot accept disproportionate pay cut

first_imgFIFPro, the worldwide representative organisation for 65,000 professional footballers has asked the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) to reconsider their proposal to reduce the players’ salaries, which have been at the centre of discussions since the suspension of the championship due to the coronavirus outbreak.On April 13 the CFA came up with a proposal to cut the salaries of footballers who earn more than €2,000 monthly by 23 per cent.In a letter addressed to the Pancyprian Footballers Association (Pasp) president Spyros Neofytides and to the players’ representative Giorgos Merkis, CFA president Giorgos Koumas said the reason behind the proposed pay cut is explained by the very difficult moment football is undergoing, not just in Cyprus, but in the entire world.“The suspension of the championships was a government measure and, while we understand it and reinforce it, we do not yet know when football will be allowed to resume,” the letter said.“At the same time, as a result of the decree temporarily banning sports events, many sponsors and television platforms have ‘frozen’ their payments, which has hit our world hard.”Pasp rejected the proposal and, on Friday, FIFPro also came out in support of the players, claiming that the proposal “is grossly disproportionate and therefore not acceptable.”“As the season is in the final months, the proposal would mean that the players will receive almost nothing of what they should get as arranged by their contracts for the last three months,” FIFPro said in a statement.FIFPro used as an example a player on a 10-month contract earning €2,500 per month.“For the entire season he would receive €25,000. From August through mid-March he has collected 75 per cent of his salary. He would still get 25 per cent (or €6,250) in total for the months of March, April and May.“However, if his annual salary was to be reduced by 23 per cent, as proposed by the CFA, then he will only collect 2 per cent of his remaining salary, which totals €500 for the months of March, April and May, resulting in a reduction of 92 per cent on the salaries from this period.”In a telephone conversation we had earlier today with Paris Spanos, the legal advisor of Pasp, he shed some more light on why the footballers rejected the CFA’s proposal.‘By what logic has the CFA proposed a 23% reduction on the players’ annual remuneration when the crisis began in mid March?’‘Pasp has also been accused of not submitting a counter proposal something that Spanos denied vehemently.He said that a letter was sent to them explaining that the footballers are being asked to shoulder the cost  incurred not only by the pandemic but also by the clubs’ mismanagement and/or wrong decisions.‘For us to be able to table a concrete counter proposal (including wage reductions) we need to know the extent of the damage incurred by the clubs due to the pandemic only and that is what we ask for in our letter.’‘Without this information it is impossible for us to make a fair counter proposal ‘ he added.Clubs have stated that they have already suffered cuts from their TV rights, with one club claiming a loss of EUR1.5 million.‘We have asked for information to verify these claims but we are accused of meddling in the finances of the clubs, the majority of these are in the public domain, what we are asking is for updated information’ Spanos said.‘Furthemore what happens if we find a solution and the championship resumes behind closed doors with  TV viewership being much higher than before, will the clubs return part of the deducted wages?’According to Spanos there are two ways this conflict can be resolved.‘The CFA can either submit a new reasonable proposal for the period after March 15 or accept to discuss our proposal, by first determining together the extent of the loss in revenue for the clubs and then agreeing to reasonable reductions or suspension of wages’ he concluded.FIFPro, nevertheless, urged footballers in Cyprus to understand that the extraordinary circumstances caused by the virus should push them to help their clubs financially if necessary.“However, any offer made to them should be proportionate and the CFA should look after the interests of the players and not just consider the interests of the clubs.”last_img read more