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Liga MX club can't threaten to cut salaries says players' union

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The Mexican players' association (AMFpro) has warned Liga MX clubs against threatening players over plans to cut athlete salary payments due to economic problems during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Liga MX was suspended on March 15 and since then almost all clubs have announced that a percentage of first team players' wages would be deferred, although reports have since surfaced that salary reductions are now being implemented by some clubs.

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"What's happened in the last few weeks is that they want to abuse, they want to threaten in one way or another so they sign these agreements [to cut player wages] or if not they are left out of the team or have to settle, it isn't right," said AMFpro spokesperson and former player Ismael Valadez in an interview with ESPN.

Clubs will return a percentage of the wage that was held back if Liga MX returns in front of fans, but if the season is finished behind closed doors a higher percentage will be taken away from the players, according to Valadez.

The players' association hasn't yet received a formal complaint regarding the issue and is advising players that they don't have to accept.

"It is simple: the footballer is covered if they don't want to sign," said Valadez. "They make a complaint and the club should pay the complete salary."

Valadez added that in the lower leagues in Mexico there are "endless cases of [clubs] taking advantage of this."

Liga MX clubs have stayed silent on the issue and have been hit hard not just by the coronavirus crisis, but also by the weakening of the Mexican peso against the dollar.

"We can't guarantee, if this continues like it is, that the business endures," said Pachuca owner Jesus Martinez in an interview with ESPN last month. "I took the very strong measure of reducing the salary of directors by 50 percent and the managers by 30 percent and I'm happy that they have accepted."

The Mexico City government -- the most affected area in the country -- announced on Wednesday that sporting events without spectators could return on June 15 at the earliest, with ESPN previously reporting that Liga MX is hoping to return in early July behind closed doors.

The Mexican players' association has been calling out league authorities in recent weeks over a series of issues. The association complained to FIFA about the suspension of promotion and relegation between the top two division for the next six years and is still pushing for players from the now disbanded Veracruz to get paid for wages from last year.