March 25 (Reuters) - The players at Union Berlin have agreed to go without their wages after the Bundesliga club said that the stoppage caused by the coronavirus pandemic had left it in an “extraordinary and difficult situation”.
Like football around the world, the Bundesliga has been suspended because of the global health crisis, depriving clubs of much of their revenue for possibly months.
“The first-team football department has agreed to waive their salaries,” the club said in a statement on Wednesday, although it did not say how long this would last.
“The club’s managers and employees have also agreed to part-time working arrangements, which will also result in salary cuts. At the same time, we are pulling together to prepare for a full-time resumption of Bundesliga operations at any time.”
Union Berlin were based in the former East Germany, went into the third tier following German reunification and were promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time last season.
Club president Dirk Zingler described the situation as exceptional.
“Our club’s purpose is football. If it ceases to exist, then it will touch the core of our existence,” he said.
“The management, our staff, the squad and backroom staff have worked hard in recent months to ensure success in the Bundesliga. Now they are giving up a lot of money to get through this crisis together.”
Union Berlin have enjoyed a respectable debut season in the Bundesliga and are 11th in the 18-team table with 30 points from 25 games.
Writing by Brian Homewood Editing by Toby Davis