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Discussions continue over temporary salary reduction for Malaga players

José María Muñoz, right, in the stands at La Rosaleda.
José María Muñoz, right, in the stands at La Rosaleda. / ÑITO SALAS
  • A month after their last league game, Malaga's players are still on full wages but administrator José María Muñoz is in discussion with the club's most senior players

With professional footballers in Spain inactive for the forseeable future, many clubs have already reached agreements with players over a reduction to their wages. However, in the case of Malaga, one of the clubs in greatest need of decreasing its expenditure, that is not yet the case.

According to SUR sources, the club's judicial administrator, José María Muñoz, is already involved in discussions with the club's most senior players (among them captain Adrián and vice-captain Luis Hernández) in order to explain and analyse the new state of the club's finances during this crisis with the aim of coming to an agreement over a reduction in wages for the squad.

The same sources say, however, that an agreement has not yet been reached but that one is expected to be reached shortly.

As the magnitude of the crisis and the potential revenue losses are still very much unknown, all clubs are discussing salary reduction in the context of three possible scenarios: first, that the current season cannot be completed; second, that the eleven matches that remain are played behind closed doors; and third, that the games are played with a crowd present (the least likely outcome at present).

In a virtual meeting attended by representatives of all clubs of the top two divisions, the agreement in the case of the first scenario was a 20 per cent cut, 10 per cent in the second and no change in the third. The final figure, however, has been left in the hands of the individual clubs.

With football halted for more than a month now, Ñuñoz will be hoping that an agreement can be reached sooner rather than later. Much of the delay has been down to mixed messages (many of which have proven spectacularly over-optimistic) between La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation over when competition can resume, but also the wait for a collective decision from the AFE, the footballers' association which never came.

Expiring contracts

Another issue that José María Muñoz, alongside director of football Manolo Gaspar, must solve is that of players whose contracts are set to expire at the end of the season.

Seven players currently fit into that category (youth team keeper Kellyan; defenders Luis Muñoz, Mikel Villanueva and David Lómban; winger Aarón Ñíguez, who joined just before the lockdown started so hasn't played yet; and on-loan attackers Sergio Buenacasa and Armando Sadiku). While the club would like to retain their services, the drop in revenue could prove to be a sizeable obstacle, especially in the case of the three defenders.