Seven-time Slovak champions Zilina face liquidation due to the financial troubles caused by the domestic season’s suspension after the coronavirus outbreak, the club said.
Zilina, one of the most popular clubs in Slovakia, have already terminated the contracts of 17 footballers, including those with the highest salaries and those whose contracts expire this year.
The club asked players to accept an 80% pay cut but the proposal was not accepted.
“The proposal was to reduce our salaries by 80%, which was a lot,” goalkeeper Dominik Holec wrote on Facebook, adding he was ready to negotiate a pay cut but not as high as the one proposed.
Zilina explained the move, saying their 2020 budget is based entirely on the sale of players.
“Today, this amount will be in all likelihood close to zero,” the club, who are second in the Slovakian top flight, said.
“In terms of fairness and loyalty to the club, Zilina consider this (players’ refusal) to be absolutely inappropriate, unfair,” the club said, adding it may even lead to liquidation given the current situation.
Zilina, however, said they would still be able to finish the season if it was to eventually restart at some stage, relying on youngsters “who have shown willingness and solidarity”.
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“A legal analysis of the current legislation has shown that the status of the company in liquidation does not limit its activities,” Zilina said.
The coronavirus has killed nearly 40,000 people and infected more than 800,000 worldwide.