In Europe, there is more pressure on players and coaches to take pay cuts as the consequences of the deadly COVID-19 are being felt in some of the world’s leading football leagues – the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga – all confirming they are feeling the enormity of the pandemic.
With games halted since early last month and clubs needing to still pay wages with their revenue affected - especially through gate receipts - Juventus, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have since announced salary reductions to help spare their teams from complete bankruptcy, while Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Newcastle United have taken advantage of the UK government’s pledge to cover 80 percent of employee salaries and announced their non-playing staff would take pay cuts.
No Premier Soccer League club has stated any such measures yet, but South African football does not exist in a bubble and they, too, will soon feel the pinch.
It’s a matter of when.
With dwindling crowd attendances, the expectation is that PSL clubs’ budgets are not affected by selling tickets to matches. Mato Madlala, the league’s acting CEO, has confirmed that "for now" clubs have been guaranteed to receive their R2 million monthly grants at least until the end of the season in June.
Speaking to the Siya crew, player advisor and economist Ashley Rasool backs the suggestion that – at first glance – PSL clubs, with contracts that have already been in place, appear safe in the interim.
"In relation to players, COVID-19 has brought a halt to football and, consequently, brought an end to almost all negotiations regarding summer deals. I imagine the established clubs in the PSL would have the 2019/20 budgets funded, which effectively takes us to 30 June 2020," Rasool argued.
"The question then remains is what’s next beyond this? Herein lies the uncertainty. All of a sudden, every club is unsure what the value of any player will be – and whether they can even afford to pay their current squad."
In this 10 article Siya special: