Bayern players accept salary cut until ‘end of season’

Bayern Munich sit seven points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga. (AFP)
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Updated 30 May 2020

Bayern players accept salary cut until ‘end of season’

  • In April, the Bayern squad took a 20-percent reduction in salary
  • Bayern sit seven points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga

BERLIN: Bayern Munich players have accepted a salary cut which will last until the “end of the season” to help the Bundesliga champions through the coronavirus crisis, club president Herbert Hainer said on Saturday.

In April, the Bayern squad took a 20 percent reduction in salary, but Hainer did not specify how large the cut was this time.

“It is very satisfying to see that our team understands the situation and will again give up part of their salary until the end of the season,” Hainer told German daily Bild.

Bayern sit seven points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga with six games remaining as they look set to win a record-extending eighth straight title.

The German top-flight season is scheduled to end on June 27, although Bayern could potentially also be in the German Cup final on July 4.

Hansi Flick’s side are also still in the Champions League, after a 3-0 victory at Chelsea in their last 16 first leg before the coronavirus lockdown, but UEFA are yet to announce how it plans to end that competition.

In another development, La Liga have confirmed players will be allowed to return to full training on Monday, giving them 10 days to work together before the season restarts in Spain on June 11.

This is the final phase of La Liga’s staggered training program as teams get set to complete the remaining 11 rounds of the season, which will finish on July 19.

European competitions, including the Champions League, could then resume in August.

“La Liga clubs will start collective training on Monday, June 1,” the league said in a statement.

“The fourth phase, which starts next Monday, is the last step in this protocol that will lead to clubs starting competition on June 11.”

La Liga president Javier Tebas has said the plan is for games to be played every day. The Spanish football federation (RFEF) gave its permission last week for matches to be staged on all days of the week.

Players in Spain’s top two divisions began training in groups of up to 10 from May 18 and then 14 shortly after, having initially begun working individually at training grounds from May 4.

La Liga suspended fixtures due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12, meaning the break between games stopping and restarting will be almost exactly three months.

Matches will be held behind closed doors, with the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis expected to be the first game back on June 11.


Grizzlies roll past Bucks 119-106, reach West play-in round

Updated 14 August 2020

Grizzlies roll past Bucks 119-106, reach West play-in round

  • The Grizzlies (34-39) tied for ninth place in the Western Conference with Phoenix, but advances to the play-in round because it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over Phoenix

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: With their season on the line, Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant teamed up to make history and keep the Memphis Grizzlies’ playoff hopes alive.
Valanciunas and Moranth had triple-doubles, Dillon Brooks scored 31 points and the Grizzlies beat the Milwaukee Bucks 119-106 on Thursday to wrap up a spot in the play-in tournament that will determine the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
This marked the first time in franchise history that two Grizzlies had triple-doubles in a game. The team effort helped the Grizzlies bounce back after losing six of their first seven games since the NBA returned from a 4 1/2-month layoff.
“I’m happy that we responded,” said Valanciunas, who had 26 points, 19 rebounds and 12 assists. “We showed character. We’re not going home. We’re going to fight until the last second.”
Dillon Brooks added 31 points as Memphis never trailed while capitalizing on the fact Milwaukee was missing Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning MVP was serving a one-game suspension after head-butting Moritz Wagner in a 126-113 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies (34-39) tied for ninth place in the Western Conference with Phoenix, which beat Dallas 128-102 on Thursday. Memphis advances to the play-in round because it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over Phoenix.
Memphis now faces Portland (35-39), which earned a spot in the play-in round by edging the Brooklyn Nets 134-133 on Thursday night.
As the No. 9 team, Memphis must beat Portland two straight times to advance to face the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
Memphis hasn’t been to the playoffs the last two years after making seven straight postseason appearances from 2011-17.
“It’s great to see in a meaningful game that our guys just stuck with it,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “We’re going to need that on Saturday — even more and more and better and better.”
Valanciunas earned the game ball after getting his first double-double in his 559th career NBA game. The 28-year-old Valanciunas’ previous career high in assists was five.
“I’m definitely going to keep that ball for a long time to show my kids that Daddy did it,” Valanciunas said.
Morant had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
This marked the first time two teammates posted triple-doubles in the same game since Miami’s Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler did it Dec. 10 in a 135-121 overtime victory over Atlanta. Valanciunas and Morant are the 12th pair of teammates to post triple-doubles in the same game, including the postseason.
Brook Lopez scored 19 to lead five Bucks in double figures. Frank Mason had 18, Donte DiVincenzo collected 17, Khris Middleton 14 and D.J. Wilson 12.
This game was meaningless for the Bucks, who already had clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for a second straight season. But it meant everything for the Grizzlies and Jenkins, who was an assistant on Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer’s staff last season and previously worked for him in Atlanta.
It was quickly apparent which of these two teams had the most incentive. Memphis led by as many as 23.
“You’d have to be head in the sand really deep to not understand everything that was at stake today,” Budenholzer said. “Taylor and his group have done such a great job this year. They earned it. They played well today. They were sharp. Guys really stepped up.”
TIP-INS
Bucks: Starting guard Wesley Matthews missed a second straight game with a sore right adductor. Budenholzer remains confident that Matthews will be ready for the playoffs. “We feel like everything’s in a reasonably good place,” Budenholzer said before the game. “Probably just smartest not to push it today, give him another day or two. We don’t expect it to linger or be a problem past today.”
Grizzlies: Morant ended the regular season averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 assists. The only rookies in NBA history to average at least 17 points and seven assists are Oscar Robertson (1960-61), Magic Johnson (1979-80), Isiah Thomas (1981-82), Damon Stoudamire (1995-96), Allen Iverson (1996-97) and Trae Young (2018-19). ... Valanciunas has collected at least 10 rebounds in seven straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA. ... Memphis was the designated home team. Former Grizzlies Tony Allen and Zach Randolph were included among the team’s “virtual fans” in the arena.
MIDDLETON JUST SHY OF 50-40-90
Middleton shot 5 of 13 and was just shy of becoming the ninth NBA player to finish a season shooting at least 50% from the floor, 40% from 3-point range and 90% from the foul line. He ended up shooting 49.7% on field-goal attempts, 41.5% on 3-pointers and 91.6% on free throws.
UP NEXT
The Bucks will face the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs starting Tuesday. The Bucks swept four regular-season meetings with Orlando.
The Grizzlies move on to the West’s play-in tournament.
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