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Lockdown could force Celtic to cut player salaries

Bloemfontein Celtic owner Max Tshabalala admits the club's players may have to take a pay cut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With South Africa on lockdown and domestic football on hiatus, Celtic's already fragile financial situation is fast becoming untenable, according to the club owner.

"Let me be honest with you... because of this virus now, things [are] more difficult for us," Tshabalala told Sowetan.

"When I say us, I mean teams who don't have sponsors. A team that doesn't have a sponsor relies on the business of the chairman. Now my company is trying to develop us. We are developing a lot of properties around the Free State and all over the country.

"But now we are not working [because of the lockdown], that means the team doesn't have money; we won't have money even to pay for other things. The grant from the PSL [R2.5m per month] is just 55% to 60%. The rest of the money is coming from a supporting company. So it is very difficult for us really, that I can't deny it."

He added: "The income and the remuneration of players is a personal issue. Those players are looking after their families and stuff like that.

"If this thing is ongoing we can't help it, we have to sit down with the players and have a formal meeting whereby we talk. Like when we started when you sign a contract and we need to discuss. Fortunately, they are also seeing what is happening around the world. We just pray that we get a solution."