Rayo Vallecano players skip training due to pay dispute

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Rayo Vallecano v Atletico Madrid - Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, Madrid, Spain - February 16, 2019 General view of the stadium before the match REUTERS/Susana Vera/File Photo

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish second division side Rayo Vallecano refused to turn up for the first day of group training due to a dispute with the club hierarchy over a pay cut for staff and players, a club source said on Monday.

While every club in Spain’s top two divisions held group training on Monday for the first time since play was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rayo’s players were given an individual programme to follow at home, the source added.

In May, Rayo joined a large number of Spanish clubs in introducing a temporary pay cut underwritten by the government, known as an ERTE, after the season was provisionally suspended.

Coach Paco Jemez criticised the pay cut, however, arguing that it was not necessary as the club was in a healthy state financially, and called for all non-playing staff to receive their full wages during the period.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris