Play out of necessity | Soccer

Patricia Rodríguez assures that Elche has no other option than to resume competition as soon as possible to stop the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Elche CF players in a stock image
MANUEL LORENZO

Professional football is a company with a heart of steel that understands fewer and fewer feelings. In the midst of the biggest health crisis of the last century, football clubs have a clear priority: to play however, without risks. This has been confirmed this Friday by the CEO of Elche, Patricia Rodríguez. LaLiga’s plans do not contemplate any other scenario than “playing again,” said the Basque leader, who specified that the return to sports activities will be carried out under a strict security protocol.

“We are going to try by all means to play, but the first thing is the health of the players, coaching staff and workers. The protocol will require great efforts because it is focused on ending the competition covering all kinds of risks,” explained the Gipuzkoa, who compared the machinery of soccer with that of other sectors of the business fabric that, despite the pandemic, continue with their productive activity.

“The priority now is to play to minimize the impact of COVID19,” insisted Rodríguez, who currently does not consider playing with the public a priority. “I do not know when it will be possible to play at the open door, because it does not depend on us, but on the Government. I want it to be soon because it will be a sign of normality,” he said.

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Future impact

Patricia Rodríguez ventured that the coronavirus crisis and the consequent devastation in the income of the clubs will leave consequences in the future. “It is going to have a great impact on football, as in other sectors. I think that the amounts for transfers will decrease and also the salaries of players and coaches. The salary limits of the clubs for the next season will be reduced and that will affect the squads, “said the CEO, who said she was” calm “about the future of the players who ended their contract on June 30, as she recalled that FIFA will not open the new transfer market until the end of this season.

Despite the fact that the entity has presented a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) for its sports personnel, Rodríguez revealed that Elche has left “the door open” for the staff to “continue talking and negotiating”, whenever it occurs a reduction in salary. In this sense, he explained that if he ended up taking this measure, it was because an agreement could not be reached with the players in the percentage that they should reduce their salary.

“There was a large percentage difference. In the club we have been consistent. Our obligation was to be responsible and that there be no problems for the viability of the club in the medium and long term and to guarantee sustainability and solvency in the future,” argued Rodríguez, who indicated that the entity has worked to “adapt the cost structure to the reduction in income that we are likely to have.” In today’s football, the economy is a basic and non-negotiable premise, as in any other company and sector “, sentenced.

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The leader understood the “discomfort” of many of the employees and footballers “because nobody finds it pleasant that their salary is reduced.” “It was a thoughtful decision that is not easy. It is the result of an exceptional situation that requires extraordinary measures,” said the director general, who recalled that ERTE is currently common in many business sectors. And football is already one more.

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