Players at Bayern Munich, Dortmund and other Bundesliga clubs are taking pay cuts during the league’s hiatus in an effort to help other employees at their clubs.
“This is a valuable sign of solidarity,” Borussia Dortmund club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said in a statement yesterday.
Bayern Munich players are expected to take a 20% pay cut, while Dortmund players will “waive part of their salaries.” Per the BBC, last week, Borussia Monchengladbach’s players were the first in the Bundesliga to forgo wages. Players at Werder Bremen and Schalke have also followed suit.
“Tens of thousands of jobs are at stake,” Christian Seifert, the league’s chief executive, said last week. “We’ve reached a point where Bundesliga has to admit: ‘Yes, we are manufacturing a product and if we no longer manufacture it then we cease to exist.’
“It’s not only about the stars. More is at stake than just a few matches.”
The top two divisions in German soccer have been suspended until April 2 due to the pandemic and Seifert previously said that there could be further cancellations as well.
Bayern Munich star striker Robert Lewandowski announced this past weekend that he and his wife were donating one million euros to the fight against the disease.
“Today we’re all playing on the same team. We need to be strong in this fight. If we can help someone, let’s do it. The situation affects all of us so we ask you to follow instructions and listen to those who know best,” Lewandowksi told the German publication, Sport Bild.
“Be responsible. We believe we’ll be able to return to our normal lives soon. We’re in this situation together and we’ll endure it together.”
A number of American soccer players are still overseas in Germany, including Schalke and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie, who joined forces with countrymen Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams in fundraising to feed the hungry during this trying time.
“We kind of put our heads together and wanted to help out with the current situation even though we are over here in Europe,” McKennie told Sports Illustrated‘s Grant Wahl in a new Planet Fútbol Podcast.“We definitely pay attention to how this coronavirus is affecting America, so we teamed up with Feeding America, and we’ve decided to donate together.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are more than 438,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, causing more than 19,000 deaths. There are more than 59,500 confirmed cases in the United States and more than 31,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Germany.