MADRID (AP) – Elche players were absent from training on Wednesday as a protest against the salary cut that the Spanish second division club applied to its payroll following the coronavirus pandemic.
The members of the squad were supposed to train at their stadium, but they decided to continue working at home to express their discomfort at the determination of the Elche leadership not to lift the salary cuts.RELATED
With the return to training and given the decision that the second division tournament should resume next month, the team is demanding full payment of their wages.
The players trained normally on Tuesday. The club from the southeast of Spain reported that it is negotiating with them.
Like many clubs in Spain, Elche resorted to so-called temporary employment regulation files (ERTE). This is a government benefit scheme for companies to reduce their costs during the pandemic.
At the outbreak of the crisis, the team applied a 70% reduction in the wages and working hours of the players.
Club general director Patricia Rodríguez told COPE radio that she was surprised by the players’ decision because the club had already presented them with an offer to readjust wages.
Rodríguez indicated that the players will not work additional hours to what is stipulated in the ERTE conditions.
Rodríguez stressed that the players are not training “beyond 40 or 45 minutes per session”, which would justify that the pay was not complete.
At the moment, Spanish footballers meet with individual training sessions at their club facilities. Sessions may be expanded to groups or to the entire campus in the coming weeks if there is no escalation of the pandemic.
Rodríguez said that the current working conditions will be modified as the workload of the players increases.
He added that the technical staff have already asked for an adjustment of their licenses because they have begun to work more, since the players’ practices are scheduled at different periods during the day.
“By talking things are solved. They had a proposal on the table before that happened, “said Rodríguez.
Elche coach José “Pacheta” Rojo himself had to inform the club of the players’ decision not to train on Wednesday.
The two main divisions of Spanish football could resume the season from June 12.
Elche was sixth in the 22-team standings when the tournament was suspended after 31 dates.
Recently the Eibar players of the first division expressed their fear of returning to practices in the midst of the pandemic. They said they were concerned about the possibility of becoming infected and infecting their relatives.
On Wednesday, Atlético Baleares of the third division threatened not to play unless the Royal Spanish Football Federation provides security parameters for clubs in that category. For now, measures have been announced only for the first two divisions.
The team’s director, Guillermo Pisano, said that for no reason will he put the footballers at risk.