The Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis on the Contracts of Players and Coaches linked to French Clubs: the Partial Unemployment

The Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis on the Contracts of Players and Coaches linked to French Clubs: the Partial Unemployment

The Covid-19 epidemic has placed worldwide football in an unprecedented situation, which has been described by FIFA as a case of force majeure.

The suspension of national and international competitions for an indefinite period of time generates an immediate loss of revenue for the clubs. Not only can clubs no longer receive box office revenues, but they face a significant loss of their marketing revenue and TV rights. Indeed, their business partners, sponsors, and media have suspended all payments on the basis that they are no longer receiving the compensation foreseen by their contracts covering the 2019-2020 season.

To remedy this situation, clubs are looking to decrease their expenses, specifically their salary expenses, which is primarily based on football players’ and coaches’ salaries.   

In France, there is a legal procedure called partial unemployment that is known nowadays as “partial activity measures”, which allow companies to cope with an exceptional situation characterized by an activity downturn. Therefore, companies reduce the salaries of employees who can no longer work according to their regular work schedule.

By two Minister of Health’ decrees dated 14 and 15 March 2020 and Decree no. 2020-259 dated 16 March 2020 issued by the Prime Minister covering various measures relating to the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the French Government has ordered the closure of all sports establishments. It has banned all simultaneous gatherings, meetings, or activities involving a group of persons in a closed or open environment until 15 April 2020. We understand that the closure may be extended for several more weeks.

These decisions prevent players and coaches from performing the services for...

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