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Coronavirus: Roma players give up wages for rest of season

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AS Roma's players and coaching staff have volunteered to give up their wages for the remainder of the 2019-20 season to help steer the club through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Serie A side announced on Sunday that its players will forego four months' salary and will collectively make up the difference in non-playing staff's wages whose salaries were affected when they were placed on the Italian government's social safety net scheme.

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"The club's players, first-team coach Paulo Fonseca, and his staff, have volunteered to forgo four months' salary this season to help the club navigate the economic crisis that has engulfed the world of football since the coronavirus outbreak," Roma said in a statement.

"The players, coach and his coaching staff have also agreed to collectively pay the difference to ensure that all Roma employees who were placed on the government's social safety net scheme will still receive their regular net salary."

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and it is not known if or when the season will be able to re-start. Roma last played on March 1 in a 4-3 away win over Cagliari.

Roma chief executive Guido Fienga said: "We always talk about unity at Roma and in volunteering to cut their salaries for the rest of the season, the players, the coach, and his staff, have all proved that we really are in this together.

"[Club captain] Edin Dzeko, all the players and Paulo have demonstrated they understand what this club stands for and we also thank them all for their superb gesture towards the employees at this club."

Players at Juventus, Parma and Cagliari have also agreed to wage reductions.

However, a Serie A recommendation that similar cuts be made at all top flight clubs has been rejected by the players' union which argues that those at smaller clubs are less able to afford reductions.

Roma said that the if current season resumes and is completed, the players had agreed on an incentive-based plan to be paid "subject to the achievement of certain sporting objectives."

Premier League clubs that furloughed non-playing staff while leaving their player's salaries remained unaffected were met with staunch criticism, forcing clubs such as Liverpool and Tottenham into embarrassing U-turns.

Premier League players responded to calls from UK politicians to play their part by starting a campaign called #PlayersTogether to help raise and distribute money for Britain's National Health Service.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.