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Real Madrid players, coaches, directors agree to pay cut

Sid Lowe responds to comments made by Toni Kroos who said wage cuts are like a "donation in vain."

Real Madrid have announced that their players, coaches and executives have agreed to temporary pay cuts of between 10 and 20 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The players and coaches of Real Madrid's first team football and basketball squads, led by their captains, together with the principal executives of the club's various departments, have agreed to voluntarily lower their pay for this year between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, based on the circumstances that could affect the end of the current sporting season 2019-20," the club said in a statement.

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"This decision, taken by players, coaches and staff, avoids traumatic measures which would affect other workers, as well as contributing to the economic objectives of the club in the face of the reduction of income it has experienced in recent months as a consequence of the suspension of competitions and a large part of its commercial activities being paralyzed."

Sources told ESPN that meetings were held with a number of players' agents on Tuesday to discuss the proposals.

Real Madrid had been evaluating the financial implications of the pandemic since the introduction of a state of emergency in Spain last month, when La Liga was put on hold indefinitely.

A number of scenarios were analysed alongside potential dates for a return to competition.

On Tuesday, La Liga president Javier Tebas suggested May 28th or June 6th as two possible targets for a resumption of domestic football.

The final figures of between 10 and 20 percent will be set depending on when and how the season is completed.

Midfielder Toni Kroos, who was one of the first Real Madrid players to discuss the issue, had expressed scepticism about such a move.

"Waiving salary is like a donation in vain, or to the club," he told the SWR Sport podcast. "It should be an option for everyone to consider. I think it's even better to get the full salary and then do the right thing with it.

"I don't think it's necessary here," Kroos added. "We must all help where help is needed. And there are a lot of places where help is needed right now."

Other La Liga clubs including Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had already announced 70 percent salary reductions for their players, as well as applying for ERTEs -- a Spanish employment law measure which allows businesses to unilaterally cut staff wages.

Club sources told ESPN that one of the priorities for both Real Madrid's directors and players had been to make sure that non-playing employees were not affected by the crisis.

The club and a number of players had already made donations to charities, hospitals and local authorities tackling the coronavirus pandemic, while a distribution centre for medical supplies had been opened at the Bernabeu.

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