Barcelona hit hard as La Liga slashes salary caps

Barcelona hit hard as La Liga slashes salary caps
Barcelona’s forward Lionel Messi vies with Alaves’ defenders Florian Lejeune and Victor Laguardia Cisneros during a recent Spanish League football match in Vitoria. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 18 November 2020

Barcelona hit hard as La Liga slashes salary caps

Barcelona hit hard as La Liga slashes salary caps
  • La Liga’s 20 first division clubs will be able to spend a total of €2.33 billion on wages this season

MADRID: Barcelona’s salary cap for this season has been cut by almost €300 million, according to La Liga’s list of spending limits for Spanish clubs, announced on Tuesday.

The coronavirus pandemic has had huge economic effects on Spain’s top-flight teams, with Barca among those worst affected.

Their wage cap for the 2020-21 season will be €382.7 million, down from €671.4 million last term, when they had the highest limit in La Liga.

Real Madrid will have the biggest budget this season although theirs has also been reduced from €641 million to €468.5 million.

Atletico Madrid have seen a decrease of €131.8 million to €252.7 million, which leaves Atletico with nearly half as much to spend as their city rivals Real.

La Liga’s 20 first division clubs will be able to spend a total of €2.33 billion on wages this season, which represents a drop of €610 million.

Salary allocations in Spain can be spent on players, coaches and academy players, with the aim to bring greater financial stability to the 42 teams in the top two divisions.

Barcelona is already negotiating another round of cuts for their players while Real Madrid may also begin negotiating a reduction in salaries, according to reports in Spain.

Both clubs have been heavily impacted by the pandemic, given their heavy reliance on match day revenue, as well as income generated from museums and club shops.

Barcelona allowed Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic to leave during the summer transfer window and were open to selling Ousmane Dembele. 

Real Madrid chose not to make a single new signing for the first time in 40 years.

League president Javier Tebas said he expects a very quiet winter transfer market for Spanish clubs.

Tebas said the return of fans to stadiums will be key to helping clubs start generating more revenue.

He also noted that the Spanish league will continue to be at a disadvantage over other leagues because of tax issues and restrictions on advertising from online betting companies.


Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change

Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change
Updated 19 January 2021

Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change

Australia says ‘no’ to tennis stars’ calls for COVID-19 quarantine change
  • ‘People are free to ask for things, but the answer is no’
  • ‘They knew what they were traveling into and we are not cutting corners or making special arrangements’

SYDNEY: Australian authorities said mandatory hotel quarantine for people arriving for the Australian Open tennis tournament was essential to stop COVID-19, as the country recorded another day with no new locally acquired cases on Tuesday.
Some of the world’s top tennis players including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic have questioned the country’s enforced 14-day hotel quarantine, suggesting they should be allowed to complete the process in accommodation with tennis courts before the tournament which starts in Victoria state on Feb. 8.
But Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said he would not make changes.
“People are free to ask for things, but the answer is no,” Andrews told reporters in a televised news conference.
“They knew what they were traveling into and we are not cutting corners or making special arrangements.”
More than 70 players and their entourage are confined to their hotel rooms after passengers on three charter flights returned positive tests for the coronavirus. Victoria recorded four new cases in hotel quarantine on Tuesday, but these are not counted as community transmissions.
Andrews came under substantial pressure in 2020 after putting the country’s second-most populous state into a months-long lockdown to fight a second wave of infections of the new coronavirus.
In neighboring New South Wales state, Hollywood actor Matt Damon was granted an exemption from hotel quarantine after arriving to film a “Thor” sequel in Sydney.
Damon flew in on a private jet, will stay in a rented house under security and pay for hospital-grade cleaning for his 14-day quarantine, a doctor involved in his quarantine was quoted saying in local media.
As Australia’s hard-line border controls keep daily numbers of new coronavirus cases at zero or low single digits, tourism operators have called for additional subsidies after health authorities suggested the country would not fully reopen its borders in 2021.
If the industry did not receive an extension of federal wage subsidies that are due to end in March, “we’ll be lucky to have a tourism industry in 12 or 18 months’ time,” Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
But Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the country would be unlikely to fully reopen its border soon, even though it hopes to start a vaccination program next month.
“There will be a process through 2021 of returning to some sort of normal,” Kelly told reporters.
“Unfortunately, international borders changes will be one of the last things to change, rather than the first.”