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China FA proposes minimum 30 percent virus pay cut

Shanghai SIPG’s Oscar is one of the best paid players in world football on a reported $27 million a year © AFP / STR

SHANGHAI, China, Apr 21 – The Chinese Football Association has proposed clubs slash wages of players and coaches by at least 30 percent to cut costs because of the coronavirus, state media said Tuesday.

The People’s Daily said that the CFA is now awaiting feedback from teams in the top-tier Chinese Super League (CSL) and the two divisions below.

The CSL season was supposed to begin on February 22 but was indefinitely postponed after coronavirus emerged in central China in December, before spreading worldwide.

“After the opinions are collected and revised, the Chinese Football Association will report to FIFA and other relevant departments,” the state-run newspaper said.

“It is understood that the target of the Chinese Football Association (wages cuts)… does not include youth players and ordinary employees with relatively low salaries,” People’s Daily added.

The CSL has enticed foreign coaches and players in recent years with vast pay packets.

Shanghai SIPG’s Brazilian attacking midfielder Oscar is one of the best-paid players in the world on an estimated $27 million a year.

Temporary wage reductions in football are a hot topic with clubs facing financial challenges because of the pandemic, which has seen most leagues indefinitely suspended.

Arsenal became the first English Premier League club to agree a pay cut on Monday with manager Mikel Arteta and players accepting a 12.5 percent reduction in salary.

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Clubs in Europe’s other top leagues, including Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus, have similarly cut wages.

There is still no confirmed start date for the CSL but there are claims it could now begin in late June or early July.

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