The Spanish league and players are still far apart on the size of the salary cuts they need to take to help reduce the financial impact caused by the coronavirus outbreak, with the footballers saying the organization wants them to carry nearly half the total losses.
The league and the players' association have been in talks to try to find ways to mitigate losses that could reach nearly 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) if the season cannot be restarted because of the pandemic.
The players have said they are willing to reduce their salaries, but not as much as the league or the clubs want.
"After analyzing the current circumstances of the sector and given the distance in conversations with the players' association, it is necessary to adopt measures in view of the serious economic crisis that COVID-19 is causing in the Spanish soccer industry," the league said in a statement.
It also added that government furloughs are "an exceptional mechanism to avoid and mitigate the negative impact that COVID-19 is having on the sector, and thus guarantee its subsequent recovery."
According to media reports, the league expects losses of 957 million euros ($1.03 billion) if the season is canceled, with 303 million euros ($327 million) lost if it resumes with games in empty stadiums and 156 million euros ($168 million) of deficits if it continues with fans.
The players said the total cuts in salaries requested by the league would account for 451 million euros ($487 million) if the top flight cannot restart.
The reduction in salaries being discussed reportedly varies depending on the clubs, and also on whether they are playing in the Champions League or the Europa League.
Team captains met with the players' association late Friday to discuss their options after the league earlier in the day called for all clubs to put the footballers on government furloughs to reduce labor costs while the stoppage of play continued. The furloughs help the clubs and guarantee players their jobs once the crisis is over.
The league said it is responsible for preserving an industry that represents 1.37 percent of the nation's gross domestic product and employs about 185,000 people.
Atlético Madrid and Barcelona were among the clubs to resort to the furloughs in recent days. Both reached an agreement with players to reduce their salaries by 70 percent, and guaranteed the wages of other employees were unaffected.
There are nearly 125,000 cases of the new coronavirus in Spain, which on Saturday surpassed Italy as the country with the second-most infections behind the United States. The death toll in the nation stands at 11,744.
The government is expected to extend lockdown measures until April 26, likely keeping the Spanish league suspended until then.
The league has said the season won't resume until authorities deem it safe for everyone's health. It said it will recommend a "minimum of 15 days" of practice before the games can restart, though it suggested recently the training period may begin with restrictions before the lockdown is removed.
Liverpool has become the latest Premier League club to use a government scheme to furlough some non-playing staff, with the competition having been suspended for almost four weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement came as the Premier League was holding talks on Saturday with clubs, captains and managers to discuss possible wage cuts of 30% for players during the suspension.
Under Britain's job retention scheme implemented last month as the national coronavirus lockdown was implemented, staff put on furlough can receive 80% of their salaries from the government, up to a maximum of 2,500 pounds ($3,000) a month.
Liverpool said those who are furloughed will still receive 100% of their salaries, with the club topping up their pay "to ensure no member of staff is financially disadvantaged."
There has been criticism that Premier League clubs, including Tottenham and Newcastle, have used the government scheme while still paying their players big salaries.
Liverpool, which leads the Premier League by 25 points with nine games remaining, said there was a "collective commitment at senior levels of the club —- on and off the pitch — with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs."
It added: "There is ongoing active engagement about the topic of salary deductions during the period matches are not being played to schedule. These discussions are complex and as a result the process is ongoing."
The Premier League was indefinitely suspended on Friday.
The apex body of the World Football FIFA has approved the proposal of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) for postponing its Executive Congress 2010 scheduled for April 20 due to the pandemic coronavirus outbreak globally.
The FIFA, in a written letter on March 31, advised BFF to arrange BFF Executive Congress 2020 soon after the situation gets normal and directed the BFF present executive committee to run the federation till the fresh election.
BFF Senior Vice President Abdus Salam Murshedy MP informed this on Thursday at a video conference with journalists when BFF General Secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag was also present.
Earlier on March 27, the BFF executive committee decided to postpone its election billed April 20 due to spread of coronavirus in the country and forwarded the decision to FIFA.
The Spanish league is putting together a detailed plan to get teams ready for when the league restarts, recommending a mini-preseason and a large number of tests for players, their close relatives and club employees.
The 19-page "protocol" prepared by the league gives the first glimpse at what some of the top European leagues may be preparing for when the competitions resume following the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan is not yet finalized but a draft of the Spanish league's document was obtained by radio network Cope. The four-phase plan has a series of recommendations that will be presented to clubs before players can return to practice, something that the league suggests may happen even while Spain remains in lockdown because of the outbreak.
The league isn't expected to restart until government authorities deem it safe for everyone's health, but the document details actions that could be put in place in confined facilities such as training centers or team hotels, thus not breaching lockdown measures.
Spain has been hit hard by the outbreak, with more than 110,000 cases and 10,000 deaths.
The league initially suspended two rounds of games in March, but the stoppage was extended after the government declared a state of emergency that is expected to last at least until April 11. Players and members of several Spanish clubs have been infected by the coronavirus in the last few weeks.
According to the document, the league recommends a "minimum of 15 days" of practice before the games can resume, with only essential personnel participating in the sessions.
The four stages of the protocol contemplate a preparation phase that would be followed by solo practice sessions, smaller group sessions and finally full-squad sessions. The league says the basic principles of the protocol were put together "to guarantee the safety" of players, their close relatives and the clubs' staff and workers.
Before training resumes, the league says two sets of COVID-19 tests should be performed on club employees, coaches and players, in addition to their family members. Players can be tested at home or at drive-thru locations made available to them.
Everyone at the training facilities would have to be identified with accreditation indicating whether they are "high protection" members — players and those with close contact with them — or "medium protection" personnel, which would include security members and other employees.
The league protocol has detailed sections on how the clubs must operate areas such as the kitchen, laundry room, changing room, gym and physio room. The document says the cook must be in charge of opening the kitchen, which has to be cleaned by a single person. Only one person can operate the storage room, and another the laundry facility.
The gyms will initially be limited to those with injuries, and only one or two players can use it at a time, depending on the size of the facility.
The league recommends the use of several buses to transport players when needed, with one person sitting every five rows and always wearing masks and gloves. The clubs will send food to players' homes so no one has to leave for groceries. The league says access to players' and coaches' homes should not be granted to anyone not living there.
During the solo training sessions, players should be told what to do at night and the next morning will drive by themselves to the training facilities — always using the same vehicle and already wearing the training uniform.
Only two players will be allowed on the training field at a time, and they must exercise on opposite sides. No more than eight players should be at the training facility at the same time, and the players' arrival must happen 15 minutes apart.
The league says players should always wear gloves and masks until starting their training sessions. Gloves should also be used during the solo sessions when possible. A few members of the training staff will be allowed to watch the solo sessions from a distance.
During the group sessions, the squads will be divided in three groups of eight and the clubs again will be encouraged to test players for COVID-19 if they deem necessary. Three changing rooms will be used in each training session, with no more than three players sharing them at a time. Each player will have a designated shower and place to change.
The players' training material on the field should be at least 5 meters (16 feet) apart, and the league recommends the sessions be prepared in a way that "social distancing" guidelines are maintained to reduce the risk of contagion.
Meals will be left on bags with the players' names or jersey numbers, and they must eat inside their rooms, which is where they must stay at all times without any direct contact with other players.
The full-squad sessions will mean a return to normalcy, though strict hygiene measures will have to remain in place and tests for COVID-19 can still be performed. Personnel should still wear gloves and masks, and no more than two players should share the same area in the gym or the physio room.
"At this stage, it will be essential not to let the guard down and to continue with these hygiene measures through the end of the health emergency," the league said in the document.
More than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) was raised for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic with the help of athletes and musicians in Spain, the country's soccer league said Wednesday.
The final tally was announced four days after the athletes and musicians took part in a four-hour online music festival organized by the league to help purchase medical supplies and support fans confined to their homes.
More than 665,000 euros ($731,000) had been raised by the end of the donation period on Sunday, with the rest being added following the confirmation of bank transfers and donations made with international credit cards, the league said.
The league said the money is enough to purchase 115 non-invasive respirators, 500,000 protective gloves, nearly 12,600 sterilized suits and more than 430,000 masks, in addition to the 1 million donated by league sponsor Santander.
The league said more than 50 million people connected to watch the event, which was broadcast live to 180 countries through the league's international broadcasters and streamed via YouTube and Facebook.
Barcelona's Gerard Piqué, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and tennis great Rafael Nadal were among those who participated in the charity event. Celebrities included singers Aitana, Alejandro Sanz, Beret and Luis Fonsi, actress Danna Paola, music bands Morat and Taburete, and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.
They all participated from home.
Spain on Wednesday became the third country to confirm more than 100,000 cases of the coronavirus, after the United States and Italy.