Chinese soccer club cuts salary to ease rising financial burden
Published: Apr 26, 2020 12:43 PM

Young soccer players with face masks of the club Photo: courtesy of the Wuhan Three Towns FC

Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard FC announced to lower the salaries of its coaches and players in the aftermath of the coronavirus assault on Saturday, making it the first football club in China to introduce payment cuts of footballers. 

The club said it has reached an agreement regarding the payment cuts with all the club's players, as well as foreign coaching team on Friday. 

According to the plan the payment cuts will be adjusted to their monthly salary levels, with the reduction ranging from 10 to 50 percent. 

The reduction will last from March 2020 till the official start of the 2020 sea-son to be decided by the Chinese Football Association.

Several players as well as the Spanish coach Fernando SANCHEZ CIPITRIA have expressed understanding to their pay cuts to weather the financial crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

All levels of professional football leagues in China have been postponed and the teams' investors are faced with operational difficulties.

As a small football club, many projects of its majority shareholder, Juntai Group, are postponed or stopped, but the team's salary is still paid on time, according to media reports.

Established in 2014, Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard FC is the only professional football team in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It entered the quarterfinals in the Chinese FA Cup in 2015 and knocked out Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club in the process.

Industry insiders believe that the Xinjiang team's unprecedented move to cut salaries will set an example for other Chinese teams to follow.