Portugal’s Sporting to cut player wages by 40% amid coronavirus losses


LISBON (Reuters) – Players at Sporting will have their salaries cut by 40% for three months as the club attempts to mitigate financial losses from the suspension of games during the coronavirus outbreak, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.

Lusa also reported Sporting’s board of directors will take a 50% pay cut.

With the pandemic shutting down global sport on an unprecedented scale, Sporting is the first of Portugal’s three major football clubs to announce the cuts.

FIFA has urged clubs worldwide to consider wage reductions in order to protect their finances.

F.C. Porto and Benfica were considering a similar reduction in players’ wages this week, local press reported, but have not yet announced an agreement.

All matches in the country’s Primeira Liga were suspended indefinitely on 12 March. With 10 matches still to play this season, Sporting are in fourth place.

Should all clubs in the league follow their lead, the cuts could cost the state over 5 million euros ($5.43 million) per month in lost social security contributions, fiscal lawyers told Lusa.

In neighbouring Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players have taken at least a 70% pay cut.

Portugal has reported 15,987 cases of coronavirus, with 470 deaths.

($1 = 0.9205 euros)

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, editing by Pritha Sarkar