Defender Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid CF celebrates with Forward Gareth Bale after scoring during the Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Sociedad at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 23, 2019 in Madrid, Spain
Real Madrid could end the season without having seen their players take a meaningful pay cut. The first team squad had reduced their wages by 10 per cent, but La Liga is set to restart from June. If the club wins both the Champions League and the league title then bonuses will kick in which will essentially wipe out the cuts that have been in effect.
Paper Round’s views: Real’s players took a relatively small hit which suggests they are in a better position economically than their rivals Barcelona, and regardless of success this season it might leave them in a stronger position in the next transfer window. Whether they can hit upon a newly effective strategy in the transfer market is another matter.
Pjanic turns down Chelsea in order to seal 'dream' move - Euro Papers
Dunfermline sack seventeen players
The Mail on Sunday carries a report from Scotland explaining that Dunfermline chairman Ross McArthur decided to release the vast majority of his first team squad because he does not know when football will be back. He said: “Sadly I have to protect the business and I'm not in a position where I can increase my fixed costs and take a risk on Dunfermline playing on this date or that date. The truth is that I have no certainty at all in terms of when we will be playing football again."
Paper Round’s views: The Scottish Championship was already a tough place to survive financially and the impact of the coronavirus will continue to have effects like this until society is ready to restart, or when the government decides to lend fuller support to all kinds of businesses that depend on attendance from the public.
Manchester City are linked by the Sun on Sunday to Barcelona right-back Nelson Semedo. The 27-year-old is out of contract next summer so could be available at a reduced fee, but the paper reports that a swap deal with Joao Cancelo might make sense as the player has failed to make an impact since his move from Juventus.
Paper Round’s views: Kyle Walker has hardly covered himself in glory since the coronavirus pandemic began and it is little surprise that Pep Guardiola is trying yet another full-back to challenge him. It has been a trademark of the Spaniard’s time at City that he chops and changes the position because he has yet to get a player who is suitably effective.
There have been two more cases of coronavirus found amongst Premier League players and staff, according to the Mirror. A further 996 tests were carried out this week, and the two individuals who had positive results are to self-isolate to reduce the risk of an infection spreading. There has been no confirmation of which clubs are affected, but they are not the same clubs as last week.
Paper Round’s views: The testing for players and staff by the Premier League is extremely useful and it allows the clubs to stay on top of their infections, and to keep their staff safe. However there is nothing as safe as proper lockdown, so if there comes to be a huge outbreak from a club that continued to play, then questions will be asked of Project Restart.