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La Liga slashes wage cap by 610 million euros for 2020-21 season

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - VIllarreal v Atletico Madrid - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - December 6, 2019 General view of the match ball before the match REUTERS/Albert Gea/Files

(Reuters) - La Liga has slashed spending limits for its clubs by 610 million euros ($724.25 million) for the 2020-2021 season due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spain’s top soccer league said on Tuesday.

Barcelona’s salary cap has been cut to 382.7 million euros from last season’s 671 million euros, while defending champions Real Madrid can spend 468 million euros, down 172.5 million euros from last season’s spending limit.

Barcelona, who posted an after-tax loss of 97 million euros for the 2019-20 financial year, initiated a fresh round of pay cuts last month despite opposition from several players.

The club had earlier imposed a temporary pay cut of 70% lasting from March to June, and got rid of several high earners, including striker Luis Suarez and playmaker Ivan Rakitic, in the close season.

Atletico Madrid, who finished third last season, will be allowed to spend 252.72 million euros in 2020-21, down nearly 96 million euros from last season’s 348.50 million euros.

"This squad spending limit denotes the maximum amount that each club can spend... including spending on the first team in relation to players, the manager, assistant manager and fitness coach," La Liga said in a statement here.

($1 = 0.8422 euros)

Reporting by Manasi Pathak and Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar