March 23, 2020 / 5:14 PM / 12 days ago

Anderlecht players asked to give up one month's wages

FILE PHOTO - Anderlecht - Vincent Kompany Press Conference - Neerpede Training Center, Brussels, Belgium - June 25, 2019 Anderlecht President Marc Coucke during the press conference REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian soccer side Anderlecht are asking their players to skip one month’s salary and help save at least two-million euros (1.87 million pounds) as the coronavirus pandemic hits the club hard.

Anderlecht suspended the contracts of several staff members on Tuesday and chief executive officer Karel Van Eetvelt said players were being asked to show solidarity by giving up 30 days of wages.

“It will save us at least two million euros,” he told Belgian broadcaster Sporza.

The club considered also suspending the contracts of players to save costs but said it was a risky step.

“Therefore, we have chosen to ask them to hand back some of their salary.

“I am very glad there is solidarity among the players and they understand how urgent the situation is,” Van Eetvelt added, indicating that there was agreement although Belgian media reports said it was still being negotiated.

“The role of (coach) Vincent Kompany is crucial because he stands between management and the players and can appeal to them directly,” he said.

The club from the capital are Belgium’s most successful team with a record 34 domestic titles, as well as winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Cup, but in recent seasons have struggled.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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