The stars of Juventus Turin waive their wages. They could get a share refunded.
The Turins are always the first, even now. They will probably show the way to everyone else, avant-garde. Juventus Turin has quickly reached an agreement with its highly paid squad. He waives a good portion of his wages in order to protect the club’s financial books from dangerous tattering – namely the payments for March, April, May and June. Four months, a third of the annual salary. And since Juve has the highest wages for this season that there has ever been in Serie A, that’s an impressive 90 million euros. Cristiano Ronaldo alone has foregone a net salary of more than ten million euros, at least for the time being, we still have to talk about the technical details.
It is epochal, pure ‹Juventusness›.
The “Gazzetta dello Sport” is so touched by the gesture of the Portuguese superstar that it writes in a comment: “King Midas descends to the people, the hero loads the problems of ordinary people onto his shoulders, he is the Superman who is his Privileges shed and become normal. » That is “epochal” and pure “Juventusness”, a commitment to the soul.
Well, it had sounded different a few weeks ago. Ronaldo was the first to “fled” home to Madeira in a private jet, it was said, to the island in the Atlantic – far from the horror of northern Italy. After that, several players did the same: Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa, Gonzalo Higuaín, all of them went home. Others remained, such as the Argentine creative force Paulo Dybala. He caught the corona virus, spent a few difficult days and is now on the mend. But no one is talking about the “desertion of the mercenaries”, as it was called in Italy. When Ronaldo gave his okay, the deal was decided.
“Nobody is Immune”
For Juventus, waiving wages for players and coaches is vital. Andrea Agnelli, the president, said in the days before the agreement: “Nobody is immune, timing is everything: This is the greatest challenge in the history of our game and our industry.” That should also speed up the negotiations. The captain of the team, Giorgio Chiellini, played the key role, and not only does the reputation of an exemplary professional precede him: in addition to his job as a tough defender, he studied and completed economics. A «dottore». He wrote his thesis about the Juventus Turin business model. He knows the numbers and he knows his people. After his active career Chiellini should become a member of the management, now it is clear anyway: his placement saves Juve over the summer.
The listed association had already accumulated 50 million euros in debts in the first half of the financial year. If the championship were not played to the end, another 45 million TV rights for Serie A and Champions League would be lost, as well as 40 million from the sponsors and 20 million from ticket sales. This money had been planned for a long time.
In reality, however, the gentlemen are not quite as generous as it appears. In real terms, the players and Maurizio Sarri, a former bank employee, probably waive a maximum of two monthly wages. “If the championship continues,” Juventus writes in his thank-you address to the staff, “The club and employees will negotiate in good faith about how part of the failures can be compensated for.” Assume that the season is actually finished and the business is somewhat recovering.
The boss receives 6 million euros a year
It is only important that the high wage costs no longer put pressure on the current balance sheet, which would neither please investors nor Uefa’s financial auditors. A new financial year begins in July and, as you hope not only at Juventus, a better time. For this new time, the players are given the prospect of being reimbursed at least one month’s wages, and in the case of completion of the now suspended championship, even two salaries. In addition, it is believed that the willingness to make sacrifices of large earners in the negotiation of new contracts should pay off. In general, it is of course a very relative victim: The Correio de Manhã, a Portuguese newspaper, reported in its Sunday edition that Ronaldo had just ordered a “bomb” – a Bugatti Centodieci, a limited-edition luxury car. It costs eight million euros.
Excluded from the loss of wages are the employees of the club, who are usually not shown on the group photo, as well as the staff of the trainer, who only earn a fraction of what the boss receives: Sarri earns six million euros a year.
It remains completely unpredictable whether the Serie A season can still be saved. Italy is still in the middle of the acute phase of the pandemic, the shutdown of the economy that has been imposed affects all non-essential companies in the country. Football is now experiencing pressure from other associations in the country, whose sport may not be as popular and economically formative as that of Calcio: the championship in Italian rugby, for example, has already definitely ended. The basketball association is considering whether to follow the example.
The Serie A threatens a failure of 730 million euros
In Serie A, interests differ widely. Lazio, for example, is keen to continue playing soon: in the frozen classification, you are in second place, just one point behind the series champion Juve – the prospect of the “Scudetto” had not been as great in twenty years. Most other clubs are skeptical: operations would have to be reactivated in May at the latest, so that there is any prospect that summer will be enough for everything: championship, cup, European competitions, break, resumption. Nobody trains, many foreign stars have returned home, so that there would be some momentum again, it would take time.
In the meantime, the clubs will orientate themselves to Juves’ crisis management, based on the example from Turin, once again. The entire Serie A faces a loss of 730 million euros, 430 of which from television rights alone. Sky and Dazn, the two payment channels on the market, have already paid 215 million from the last installment for this season as a down payment – they will also want to get them back if they stopped playing. The two clubs from Genoa, Sampdoria and Genoa, AC Turin and Napoli have not paid wages since February to protect the club books. Without agreement, of course, is also a model.