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Salary cuts in Bundesliga

Berlin: With television money drying up and the clubs facing severe financial difficulties, players in the Bundesliga have been told that they will have to accept salary cuts.

“Salaries will drop,” Hertha Berlin commercial manager Dieter Hoeness said on Monday. “When a player changes team, he can no longer assume that his salary will go up.”

Not only will clubs pay less to their players but they will also invest less in the transfer market with spectacular reinforcements unlikely for most clubs.

“We need a new midfielder but if we have to pay a transfer fee, it will have to be a very low one,” Hoeness said.

Officials from several teams have said that they will have to save money. Some clubs, such as Bayer Leverkusen, who narrowly escaped relegation and will not play in Europe, have to take drastic measures. “We have to save 25 to 30 million euros and that will affect salaries and transfers,” said Leverkusen commercial manager Reiner Calmund.

“The players with the biggest salaries will have to make an effort,” he told Frankfurter daily Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday.

Salaries have soared in Germany over the last few years with TV costs spiralling out of control but the golden age is over.

Bundesliga rights-holders, KirchMedia, filed for insolvency last year with huge losses and the German clubs missed out on 70 million euros from television money last season as a result. Lost revenues for the season which ended this weekend could reach 200 million euros.

Bundesliga clubs have a total 599 million euros worth of debt and average of 14.7 million per club. A study by the German football league suggested the clubs would have to reduce their costs by 20 per cent on average next season.

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