(Reuters) - Atletico Madrid have taken the decision to cut the wages of their staff, including the players, to ease the financial burden on the club as they struggle with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the La Liga club said on Friday.
Atletico join rivals Barcelona, who imposed a compulsory wage reduction on their players during the period of lockdown after Spain became the second-most impacted country in Europe behind Italy.
Spain has nearly 57,800 confirmed cases with 4,365 deaths due to the pandemic and the country has been in lockdown since March 14 with the period extended by a further 15 days to April 12.
Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil said wage cut was necessary to guarantee the "survival of the club" with the staff being paid despite the season being suspended indefinitely, which has impacted revenues of clubs across Europe.
Gil said the club made a "difficult decision" to request for a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) which allows them to cut wages when circumstances are beyond their control.
"We are working to minimize the impact of the measure and limit it to what is strictly essential, so that when the competition resumes, everything will work as it has been until now," he said in a statement https://www.atleticodemadrid.com/noticias/carta-del-consejero-delegado-del-club.
"Our sponsors and collaborating companies are suffering like us and the rest of society from the terrible impact of this health and economic crisis. I want to thank you for your commitment in these hard times and for your help."
Atletico are sixth in La Liga, a point off fourth place and Champions League qualification with 11 games to go. However, they qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals after eliminating defending champions Liverpool earlier this month.
(This story refiles to add dropped number in para 3)
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)