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Barcelona to reduce payroll during coronavirus stoppage

The entrance to the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.
The entrance to the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona will reduce the salaries of its players amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Spanish club said late Thursday that its executive board decided to temporarily suspend player contracts, which leads to a “proportional reduction of the remuneration provided for in the respective contracts.”

The player contracts will remain intact during the suspension. Employers in Spain are allowed to reduce labor costs while guaranteeing that workers will return to their jobs once conditions improve.

The club said it had not decided by how much the salaries will be lowered.

Barcelona is the first Spanish league club to say it will reduce salaries.

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In the 2018-19 season, Barcelona said player salaries for its sports teams accounted for 671 million euros ($727 million) of its 973 million euros ($1.05 billion) in expenses. Barcelona also fields teams in basketball, handball and other smaller sports, but its soccer squad takes up most of its salary costs.

The Spanish league stopped play two weeks ago because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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