ANDThe Spanish football faces an unknown enemy. The League stop forces practically all the First and Second clubs to study the possibility of carrying out aERTEin their templates.All except Real Madrid, whose economic health will allow him to endure a crisis of this magnitude without having to resort to a cut in his salary bill.What is an ERTE and which is the most viable for clubs? Is it the only solution? What do the clubs want with this measure? These and other doubts are what all the law firms that the clubs or the players go to find out what they should do try to solve these days.LAFFER lawyersIt is one of them. Several clubs and players have asked this firm for advice that has been working for lite athletes for years.Rodrigo Garca, one of its partners, calls for an emergency agreement between theLeague and AFEthat avoids a massive ERTE of clubs with uncertain consequences, both legal and economic.
To begin with, do you understand the stance of the clubs?
The clubs are subject to an uncertainty that forces them to handle different scenarios. If they knew that the League was over, an important part would opt for the ERTE figure, and for much less burdensome measures if they knew that the competition resumes.
What risks does ERTE entail between clubs?
Making an ERTE now is not easy because, in the first place, it is highly debatable that the situation of the clubs fits within the figure of the ERTE due to force majeure. The option that can have fit between the clubs is an ERTE for reducing wages and working time for objective reasons (productive and organizational) but it has the disadvantage of not being retroactive, that is, it would not be applied since the decree was issued. alarm status. In addition, between preparing, presenting, negotiating with the Legal Representation of the Workers and applying after a period of time (minimum of 10-15 days) that makes its application coincide with a return to training and the Players’ regular schedule. In addition, there is potential reputational damage for clubs that apply aggressive ERTE measures without negotiating with the squads and / or the AFE, and those clubs will be less well positioned for future hires, since, as happened in the time of the contests, Players and their agents will assess the “rating” of each club when choosing a destination.
And what do you think is the best option?
In my opinion, the solution to a global problem (which derives in large part from the loss of television revenues from joint exploitation) must also be global. There is a perfect mechanism for this, which is the Collective Agreement. The league and the Players, through AFE, need each other. Players can help by modifying the length of the season and altering items (vacations, breaks, etc.) that make it possible to end the current season anytime, and clubs, through La Liga, can ensure that all players are treated equally and, as far as possible, receive their remuneration even if it is deferred over a long period of time. It is very understandable that many people understand that high-income workers lose part of their wages in this situation, but it must also be understood, without demagoguery, that of the wages that are lost, 45% -48% of revenue is also lost to the State, second that the income of a player is generated in a very short space of time and are the only income in many cases for life and third that we are competing with the rest of Leagues and those that best face this situation will be more reinforced to future.
And can’t that be done by clubs with individual players?
In the case of ERTE there is no room for individual negotiation. There are other formulas to try but they can theoretically cause technical-legal problems because our Law already provides a procedure for it, Article 41 ET on Substantial Modification of Working Conditions, but following this procedure empowers the Player to terminate the employment contract, without compensation for the Club and with compensation for the worker. Furthermore, given the need to act quickly, negotiating individually with each player can be highly complex and delay measures that must be agreed upon over time. In short, the individual agreement is possible, but the wording of it will be very important to shield that agreement and entails a work of negotiation that goes against the necessary speed.
If the clubs are on their own, what type of ERTE can they take?
There are two generals. An ERTE due to force majeure or one due to objective causes (of suspension or reduction). The first is the most advantageous for clubs because it is retroactive but it is very limited and difficult to justify. It is due to the activity, lack of supplies, closure of facilities, infected workplaces … But in football matches have stopped but not the activity of the players and in fact they continue training at home. I do not think that they are within this assumption, although there is a diversity of opinions on this. The second ERTE, for objective reasons, can be applied either by suspending the employment contract or by reducing the working time and proportionally the salary. The clubs are considering in this case a reduction in working time since their activity continues but in a reduced way. Technically it is the most viable but its effectiveness is limited as I have already explained.
What if the League were to resume?
If it were known for sure, I think ERTEs will not be on the table in the world of soccer. Budgets will probably be adjusted for the following seasons but the impact will be very moderate and manageable. Hopefully we are in this assumption because the importance of football in Spain in terms of GDP is very important and we need a strong League, generating income, jobs and enthusiasm in the people, who are suffering so much.