Brazilian players refuse wage cut proposal, but demand 30 days paid leave

March 26 – Brazil’s union of professional football players (Fenapaf) has refused proposals by the clubs to reduce player salaries by 25% while the game is in lockdown in the country. Instead, the union and players are demanding 30 days of paid leave. 

Initially, the clubs had asked the players take a 50% salary cut, but that number might have not passed a constitutional test. Even so, the players refused the 25% proposal. They have, however, agreed to collective holidays, but demand paid leave for 30 days and not 20 as proposed by the clubs. Those holidays would stretch the entire month of April whereafter the situation would be reassessed.

The players have asked that the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) intervenes in case the clubs do not comply with their requirements.

In talks behind the scenes, players argued that in the past five years Brazilian clubs have doubled their revenues, but that the players have not benefited from the clubs’ greater income.

The players’ decision, however, is not without legal risks. The clubs can argue that the global health crisis is an exceptional case and therefore doesn’t require a collective agreement to reduce player salaries. Such an approach might not violate local labour laws.

In Brazil, player wages vary hugely. Last season, seven players earned more than €180,000 eros a month in the top flight, but the majority of professional players do not enjoy such stellar salaries.

Last week, the CBF suspended all Brazilian football indefinitely after Gremio players took to the pitch wearing face masks in protest of having to play a match in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak. Brazil’s state federations then followed the CBF’s lead in postponing the state championships that run until late April when the national domestic league kicks off.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1596528176labto1596528176ofdlr1596528176owedi1596528176sni@o1596528176fni1596528176