“Football generates € 4.1 billion in taxes and you have to consider it”
José Guerra is the second authority in LaLiga after occupying the position left by Javier Gómez. He attends to AS by telephone in an interview that began last Thursday and was updated yesterday, since the events (and announcements) follow one another with almost no time to assimilate them.LaLiga delivered a report to the clubs analyzing how to share any losses with the players. Later, the employer’s association urged ERTE and AFE criticized it. Why did they make that statement in the middle of the negotiations?Because the Delegate Commission, last Friday, after analyzing the situation in an exercise of responsibility necessary to preserve a sector that represents 1.37% of GDP and employs about 185,000 people, considered that it should urge affiliates to start ERTE from reduction of working hours due to force majeure.LaLiga manages that there could be up to 957 million losses if no more is played and that footballers should take over almost 50%. Isn’t that an exaggeration? AFE puts the ceiling at 20%.As we have said on other occasions, LaLiga contemplates a scenario for the end of the competitions. However, logically it works in the analysis of the impact of the situation under different scenarios and, for each one, its impact.Does the step taken by LaLiga announce many more ERTE? Those of Barça, Espanyol and Alavés have just been made official.The ERTE to reduce working hours due to force majeure is the mechanism that, under current circumstances, LaLiga recommends to its associates.AFE calculated that in total the ERTE would be 9 clubs out of 42. What is your estimate?Each club has to make its own decision, but the Executive Committee considers that it is the best option now.Today they meet again despite the positions being far apart. What will they be seen for?A multitude of meetings are being held with different organizations at the national and international levels, forming part of the commission created ad hoc for UEFA, and they will continue to be able to advance on the best path.The Government is proposing measures for society. Does football also expect these specific aids, including through a Royal Decree, beyond those already provided to companies and workers?An athlete, a soccer player, is a worker, but with certain singularities … This specificity is what is being sought to be reflected in the different measures that the Government is promoting.It does not seem popular that a club with benefits turns to ERTE and that millionaire footballers can benefit from state aid. Is there demagoguery or is this vision understood?In my opinion, you have to dig deeper into the numbers when talking about professional football. This industry is generating direct, indirect and induced work to more than 185,000 many people and generates more than 4,100 million in taxes. The amounts withheld by the clubs from footballers for personal income tax purposes are very high: close to 3,000 million. The contribution to the state coffers is very important and must be taken into consideration. Will the Economic Control, which has given such a good result, be modified after this crisis?Not at the beginning. Precisely the clubs, when they endowed themselves with this rule, what they were looking for was to make entities financially sustainable. At the moment that objective is even more valid and is even more valid. It has to continue to be applied more than ever.Where will the effects of this catastrophe affect the most?The financial situation is going to be affected in all companies. Not only Spanish, but European and world. We are facing a global effect.The current salary limits will also be modified …Clear. It will affect us all. And football is no stranger.The clubs have won nothing more than ever in transfers, € 1,018M. How will the market change? More barter and less millionaires?It is possible, yes. We will see it soon. It has to affect this exceptional situation. Clubs will have to look for new alternatives in which to obtain the resources they need within their capacity, so there may be more transfers or transfers for lower amounts. It is difficult to foresee it now.Debts with the Treasury were reduced to a minimum. Is there a risk of returning to the old ways?The figure is around € 50M. There is no risk: the fiscal and tax issue is highly protected with the Economic Control.Before the virus, there were clubs with problems. Are they more dangerous?Economic standards are going to run their course. We will apply them the same. Those clubs will have to work and adjust more. But you have to look at the data with optimism.Tell me how …In the 12-13 season, the clubs other than Madrid and Barça had a net worth of 18.5 million; less than 0.5 per club. Today, they have 1,060 million equity; more than 60 each. This means that its ability to face an exceptional situation like this is much greater and more solvent than it was seven years ago.There is a lot of dependence on television income. What percentage, on average, do they assume in the budgets?They are 34% on average. But it is very dispersed: there are clubs that depend a lot on their budgets (in some cases it exceeds 80%) and others much less.However, some have a more diversified income. Will the crisis affect the adults more than the children?The key is that now what is being affected is the consumption of museums, restaurants, shops, T-shirt sales … Those clubs that have a lot of income from these concepts will be affected.Does LaLiga, as an institution, also meditate on cuts in its workforce and, especially in senior management, or even an ERTE?As it is happening in almost all of society. LaLiga’s objective is to revive the competition. And we need to use all the resources. We hope to have a stable situation for our clubs as soon as possible. So LaLiga is not exempt or isolated from the effects that the rest may have.