Coronavirus: Cristiano Ronaldo and teammates take huge pay cuts to help Juventus through pandemic pressures

Juve first team and manager Maurizio Sarri agree four-month salary freeze

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Juventus players and coach Maurizio Sarri have agreed a wage freeze that will save the Italian champions €90 million (Dh370m).

Sarri and the first-team players will go four months with reduced salaries to help Italy's most successful club during the coronavirus crisis.

The one-third cut to the players' annual salaries will mean a huge drop in wages for a squad headed by Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese is the best-paid footballer in Italy, earning €31m a year.

The agreement comes at a time when many clubs around Europe have had to cut wage bills because of the dramatic impact of matches having had to be postponed or played behind closed doors due to the spread of the virus.

"The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about 90 million euros for the 2019/2020 financial year", Juventus said in a statement.

"The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020", the club added, saying personal agreements with Sarri and the players will be finalised in the coming weeks.

The Turin-based club, in one of the regions hit hardest by the crisis, have suffered in recent weeks with three of their players having tested positive for the virus - forward Paulo Dybala, defender Daniele Rugani and midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Football around the world has been brought to a standstill by the pandemic.

Italy's top-fight Serie A league has been suspended since March 9 with Juventus, seeking a ninth successive title, leading the league by one point from Lazio with 12 games each remaining.

"Should the current season's matches be rescheduled, the Club will negotiate in good faith with the players and the coach conditional increases of compensation according to the actual resumption and finalisation of official competitions," Juve added.

"Juventus would like to thank the players and the coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone."

The agreement comes the day after leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid took the decision to cut the wages of their staff, including the players, to ease the financial burden on the club.

Atletico joined La Liga rivals Barcelona, who imposed a compulsory wage reduction on their players during the period of lockdown after Spain became the second-most affected country by the coronavirus in Europe behind Italy.

German Bundesliga clubs Borussia Moenchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund have also said their players would forego some of their salary.