TURIN: Cristiano Ronaldo and his Juventus FC teammates, along with coach Maurizio Sarri, agreed to forgo €90 million ($100 million) in wages on Saturday to help the club during the coronavirus crisis.
The Italian football giants said the money amounted to four months worth of wages, a third of players' annual salaries.
The Serie A champions’ shares rose by 7.94% on the Milan Stock Exchange early Monday in a market that has taken a major hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first agreement of its kind in Serie A since play was halted three weeks ago means Ronaldo, the highest-paid player in the Italian league, will give up €10 million.
Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini, who has an economics degree, led the negotiations with the club and fellow players, PTI reports.
"Should the current season's matches be rescheduled, the club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensations according to the actual resumption and finalization of official competitions," Juventus said.
"Juventus would like to thank the players and the coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone," the club concluded.
All sports in Italy have been suspended under a nationwide lockdown through April 3 but health experts have said the need to try to contain the COVID-19 will likely last weeks beyond that. League officials have discussed resuming Serie A in May.
Three Juventus players - Daniele Rugani, Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala - have tested positive for COVID-19.
Overall, Italy has nearly 100,000 positive cases and days ago surpassed the total of China, where the outbreak began in early 2020. Earlier this month, the Agnelli family that controls Juventus donated €10 million in relief funds to Italy's civil protection agency.
Club statement in full:
Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that, due to the current global health emergency is preventing the performance of the sporting activity, it has reached an understanding with the players and the coach of the First Team regarding their compensation for the residual portion of the current sport season.
The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020. In the coming weeks, personal agreements with the players and the coach will be finalised, as required by the current regulations.
The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about EUR 90 million for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Should the current season's matches be rescheduled, the Club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensations according to the actual resumption and finalisation of official competitions.
Juventus would like to thank the players and the coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone.