Real Madrid are considering another round of salary cuts for Zinedine Zidane’s squad as the Liga giants look to offset the negative economic effects of the coronavirus crisis. The club’s board want to slash another 30 percent off the wage bill next season, after asking the squad to take a 10 percent reduction in 2019-20 as the global pandemic halted football in LaLiga and beyond. The measure will apply to all playing staff and the club’s executives, but not to the more than 800 auxiliary staff who also work at the Bernabéu or in some capacity for the club.
All Liga clubs and their counterparts across Europe are being forced to make cuts as the Covid-19 crisis eats into the economy of the sport with those who earn more from marketing and merchandising more exposed to losses. In the case of Real Madrid the club’s budget for this season was €822 million: €161m in season tickets and match day tickets sales; €109m for friendly games and tournaments; €180m for television rights and €371m in marketing. A 20 percent hit on that total, which is the current best-case scenario for Madrid and the rest of LaLiga, would represent a loss of €165m against annual outgoings of €741m.
Real Madrid’s first-team wage bill stands at €283m, meaning that a 30 percent reduction across the board (including the reserve side, Castilla, and the club’s board), would save the club €100m a year, according to internal estimates.
For the players, the math is straightforward. The highest-paid members of Zidane’s squad are Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale, who can both expect their €14.5m annual salaries to drop to just over €10m. The rest of the squad earn progressively less but a 30 percent cut will certainly alleviate some of the financial problems Madrid are facing due to the lack of match day revenue and the closure of the club’s museum and tour and merchandising outlets.